In a video gone viral, an apparently inebriated man was caught on video lighting up a cigarette – a practice long banned on flights – and then promptly falling asleep with it still lit.
The video, with more than 200,000 views on YouTube since it was uploaded on May 21, airlines-flight-in-startling-viral-footage/23734527/” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>was captured and uploaded by an unnamed fellow passenger. The incident took place on a Spirit Airlines flight to Minneapolis.
In-flight smoking has been prohibited by airlines for decades. United Airlines first began a move toward the practice when it designated certain sections of its aircraft as non-smoking in 1971. In 1977, Aurigny Air Services banned smoking entirely on its flights.
By 1988, smoking was banned on all domestic flights of two hours or less, and by 2000 all domestic and international flights prohibited smoking.
The woman who shot the video on her phone said the man lit up about 40 minutes before landing. He took one puff of the cigarette and then lowered his hand and fell asleep with the cigarette still lit.
A passenger across the aisle from him could be seen fidgeting and looking around before finally summoning a flight attendant, who awakens the man.
The man jolts awake, is told what happened and says ‘Oh my god,” surprised to hear what he did.
The woman who shot the video said, “Throughout the flight, I could hear him making loud outbursts. Roughly 40 minutes before we landed, he laid across the two seats with his butt towards me. He continued his loud outbursts and began aggressively flipping the tray open and closed, then he sat up. I saw him take the cigarettes and lighter out of his pocket. I pulled out my phone and started to record as he lit the cigarette.”
Once the flight landed, Minneapolis-St. Paul airport police met the flight at the gate and removed the man. It is not known if any formal charges were filed.
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IATA: Damage to Air Travel Will Extend Into 2023
Any comeback by the beleaguered airline industry will extend into 2023, according to new data released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the airlines’ main trade group.
Long-haul travel will continue to lag behind and passenger fears about flying in general will contribute to the delay, Lonely Planet reported.
IATA estimates that passenger traffic won’t rebound to pre-crisis levels until at least 2023. It expects that global passenger demand in 2021 will be 24 percent below 2019 levels and 32 percent lower than the forecast the association made in October 2019.
The new data is based on a slower opening of economies and relaxation of travel restrictions. Lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders could return if the virus comes back strong in the fall and winter with a second wave, as some health officials have predicted.
In addition, another contributing factor is quarantine measures that have been instituted by various countries as well as individual states in the U.S. According to IATA, 69 percent of recent travelers that it surveyed said they would not consider traveling if it involved a 14-day quarantine period once they arrive at their destination. IATA is asking governments to find alternatives to the quarantine measures.
Of course, all of this is contingent upon the public’s willingness to fly—and instilling confidence in that will take time, said IATA’s director general and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac.
“To protect aviation’s ability to be a catalyst for the economic recovery, we must not make that prognosis worse by making travel impracticable with quarantine measures,” he said. “We need a solution for safe travel that addresses two challenges. It must give passengers the confidence to travel safely and without undue hassle, and it must give governments confidence that they are protected from importing the virus.”
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