Two passengers, a mother and a daughter, are taking Etihad Airways to court over what they say is the airline’s failure to handle an air rage incident.
Christine Arimas and her daughter Kristina were on a flight from Geneva Airport (GVA) to Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) on July 25, 2022.
Arimas said that two hours into the six-hour flight, she was randomly and abruptly grabbed by a male passenger, who forcibly pulled her from her seat.
Arimas alleged that the passenger was intoxicated, and started hurling racial insults at her.
The commotion drew the attention of fellow passengers and cabin crew. One male cabin crew member wrapped his arms around the assailant and moved him away from Arimas.
Arimas also said that Kristina woke up and witnessed the incident, which left her feeling shaken and helpless.
According to Arimas, the airline did not take adequate actions and measures to protect them from the intoxicated passenger because he was simply moved to another seat and was not restrained.
What’s worse, Arimas said, was that the airline continuously served alcohol to the assailant through the duration of the flight.
When they arrived at Abu Dhabi, Arimas said that no actions were taken by Etihad to check on the well-being or safety of her and her daughter, adding that the airline even refused to divulge the intoxicated passenger’s name.
The case was filed at the Makati Regional court in the Philippines, where the Arimases reside. The mother and daughter are accusing Etihad Airways of breach of contract of carriage by failing to ensure their safety and abusing their rights by neglecting proper protocol in handling air rage incidents.
They are seeking compensation totaling PH22 million ($388,000) for actual, moral, and exemplary damages.
The court has given Etihad 30 days to answer to the complaint.