Korean Air Lines will now allow its flight attendants to “readily use stun guns” to subdue violent passengers and hire more male crew.
The decision came after the airline was criticized by singer Richard Marx, who witnessed the handling of a violent passenger onboard one of its flight.
Last week, the “Right Here Waiting” singer posted on Facebook and Twitter that he helped subdue “a psycho passenger attacking crew members and other passengers” and complained the flight attendants were “ill-trained” and “ill-equipped” to handle the situation.
In light of that incident, the airline said it would review the use of stun guns on board.
"Korean Air will react more firmly and actively against in-flight violence that threatens the overall safety of the flight," it said in a statement.
"While U.S. carriers have taken stern action on violent on-board behavior following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 (2001), Asian carriers including us have not imposed tough standards because of Asian culture," Korean Air President Chi Chang-hoon told a news conference.
It also said the crew members were hesitant to use the Taser gun because it is only permitted during “grave” situations that can result in a threat to the life of passengers or air personnel.
The recent incident seems to fit the bill.
As part of the new guidelines, the airline will provide more training to its staff, which would include how to tie a violent passenger with a rope, instructions on how to use Tazer guns and to ban passengers with past unruly behavior.
Men account for only one-tenth of the airline’s attendants and the carrier said it would ensure it would have least one male attendant on duty in the cabin for each flight.
In South Korea, the number of disorderly acts abroad flights has increased three times in the last five years, according to government data.
The police authorities have send out an arrest warrant for the passenger, who has only been identified by his surname Lim, for injuring the crew and passengers on the Vietnam to South Korea flight.
Banner/Thumbnail credit: Reuters