Any time anyone is acting irrationally on a commercial airliner there is serious cause for concern. How many times do the police deal with people in this condition on the ground and things turn ugly. Obviously this guy had some mental issues (panic attack, whatever) but that does not reduce the risk of what could happen... and the air crew certainly should take whatever means necessary to ensure things did not escalate. Looks like the AC
crew did a good job.
Saying a US carrier would have over-reacted is pretty silly. Over reaction is relative to the situation... when you have had people ram your planes into buildings or try to light fuses in your shoes it will change your perspective. What is an over-reaction? Stopping to kick the guy off the plane would be fine by me as a passenger -- I'd rather get there late than listen to him scream for 5 hours and be wondering what we was on about.
From another persepctive, one on the plane might be wondering if he knew something about the flight such as maybe he was a suicide bomber having second thoughts. If someone were acting like that in a restaurant it would be worrisome... 35,000 feet over the North Atlantic that would be very scary to witness as a passenger.
It is so easy to comment on a situation third-hand and think "no big deal" as so many heros on a.net often do... those are the same guys who say losing an engine on take-off is just another day at the office an "no big deal" because they can do it on MS
Flight Simulator... and that every real ATPilot does it in the sim a few times per year (but most never do it for real in their entire careers).
I have been on an AA
flight where a passenger went nuts... the crew was very professional and calming. It was post 9-11 and no one beat him up. The captain came back and said if he did not straighten up he'd make a detour so the guy would go to jail. Two big bikers on the flight went and sat on either side of him and convinced him to chill out. The captain got applause (as did the bikies!) from the rest of the cabin. Have also been on an AA
767 in some bad turbulence when two passengers got up and started walking to the front of the cabin after being told by the FAs to sit down. Two big guys in the front of the plane shifted in their seats and looked back, one postured to stop them (obviously air marshall/s) and the passengers suddenly lost the urge to walk the aisles. People not behaving normally makes other nervous on the flight... with good reason. 99% of the time it is harmless, but we don't have security for the norm -- it is for the small chance that there is going to be an issue. And that thought is also what lingers in everyone's mind. You don't really know what other people are up to.
If that the scene in the video had happened on most major carriers I think the cabin crew would have repsonded with equal professionalism as AC
. Had this happened on EL AL, well maybe a few bruises