Air rage is defined as 'endangering the safety of an aircraft/passenger/property'. There are other instances such as Drunkeness in an aircraft, smoking in a non-smoking aircraft, and acting in a disruptive manner. This includes using threatening, abusive or insulting words towards a crew member, acting in a threatening manner or interfering with the performance of a crew member and their onboard duties. These are Air Navigation Orders (ANO) and they are there to give the Commander authority. In the airline I work for we use the term disruptive passenger rather than air rage. It is also not complying with the Commander's requests. A passenger has 2 options - compliance or non-compliance. The Tokyo Convention of 1963 is a multi-lateral treaty that deals with 'offences and certain other acts committed on board aircraft'. Jurisdiction lies with the country of registration of the aircraft. Whilst taxiing however it is under the jurisdiction of the country it is in. Once full power has been applied on the take off roll it reverts to the country of reg.
As for witnessing it, unfortunately it happens more often than people might think. On a BGI
flight last week 6 'ladies' got drunk, swore at crew, threatened to open the R3
door if we didn't serve more alcohol to them and called their fellow pax some god awful names. We refused them carriage on the way home and they had to buy another ticket to get themselves back to the UK at their own expense. It won't be tolerated at all anymore thank goodness. I have been pinned up against a bulkhead, told I am going to be gang raped in an onboard toilet and called names that I didn't know existed. Sometimes by very well to do business class pax. As a 5'4'' female, it's not an enjoyable experience. However, the ANO's allow us a huge amount of authority and the police and company back us 100%. Hope that helps!