Late last year, an incident on an Korean Air flight from Hanoi to Seoul came to light, when flight attendants allegedly weren’t able to use the stun gun and rope restraints to subdue an unruly passenger. US singer/musician Richard Marx took to Twitter to share images from the incident, and had a few comments for Korean Air flight attendants.
You will be hearing about our flight#480 on @KoreanAir_KE . Passenger next to us attacked passengers and crew. Crew completely ill trained.
— Richard Marx (@richardmarx) December 20, 2016
Marx’s wife, Daisy Fuentes, was also onboard, and shared her account on Instagram:
Korean Air released a report a few days after the incident, detailing measure that they hope will prevent similar incidents. At the time, Korean Air President Chi Chang-hoon said:
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. We will use the latest incident to put safety foremost and strengthen our safety standards.
Korean Air has equipped their aircraft with electronic stun guns since 2002, and was the first aline to gain TSA approval on the use of stun guns onboard flights to/from the US back in 2004. All aircraft feature at least one such stun gun, while the A380 double decker is equipped with two. According to a new BBC News report, since 2002, Korean Air has used electric stun guns on 5 passengers: three involved metal probe darts being fired, while two were used at close range.
Since airlines are not obligated to report to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) regarding weapons like stun guns onboard, information on whether other airlines are similarly equipped is pretty limited.
It doesn’t really bother me that airlines carry stun guns onboard for emergency situations. However, since the use of such devices can—in rare cases— be lethal (such as sending someone into cardiac arrest), I think flight attendants do have to be adequately trained, not just on how to use them, but also when to use them.