Korean Air has given its flight attendants stun gun training following criticism from pop star Richard Marx for its handling of a violent passenger. The American singer said air crew were “clueless and not trained” as he stepped in to help deal with a “psycho” passenger who allegedly attacked passengers and crew during a flight from Hanoi in Vietnam to Seoul, South Korea. Marx, whose hits include Hazard and Right Here Waiting, used a rope to tie the man to a seat and later slammed Korean Air “for not knowing how to handle a situation like this without passenger interference”.
While US carriers have taken stern action on violent on-board behaviour following the terrorist attacks of September 11 (2001), Asian carriers including us have not imposed tough standards because of Asian culture.
Korean Air’s president, Chi Chang-hoon
The airline said the incident had prompted it to change its guidelines to allow crew members to use Tasers in a “fast and efficient manner”. Previously, staff were only allowed to use stun guns in “grave” situations which jeopardised the life of a passenger or crew member, or the safety of a flight. Korean Air added that it would ban passengers with a history of unruly behaviour and ensure that at least one male flight attendant would be on board each flight. Richard Marx tweeted that the change of policy was “a start”. On Monday, the passenger restrained by the pop star was questioned by police on suspicion of injuring a crew member and a passenger.