What’s it gonna take to get drunk people to stop misbehaving on airplanes, hmm? We gonna have to start duct taping even more fools to plane seats? We gonna have to design some sort of Naughty Hatch through which to dump miscreants at 40,000 feet? Both sound like very reasonable options, but in the meantime, NBC News reports that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is looking to limit one factor in passengers’ bad behavior: booze.
This tactic might sound familiar. As you may recall, several airlines have recently resumed alcoholic beverage service, which was suspended due to COVID precautions. But unruly passenger antics quickly prompted some carriers to ixnay the booze once again. Still, that hasn’t stopped some passengers from bringing booze onboard in airport to-go cups. Now, the FAA is warning airports to monitor the serving of pre-flight alcohol, paying particular attention to passengers attempting to take advantage of to-go cups.
Per NBC, FAA Administrator Steve Dickson expressed his concerns in a Tuesday letter to airport managers. “As the number of passengers traveling has increased, so has the number of unruly and unsafe behavior incidents on planes and in airports,” Dickson wrote. “Our investigations show that alcohol often contributes to this unsafe behavior.”
Dickson added that, even though FAA regulations “specifically prohibit the consumption of alcohol aboard an aircraft that is not served by the airline,” some airport concessionaires have offered alcohol to go. “Passengers believe they can carry that alcohol onto their flights or they become inebriated during the boarding process,” Dickson wrote. Finally, the FAA suggested that airports increase “signage, public service announcement, and concessionaire education” to inform passengers about airline alcohol protocol. NBC says that unruly or dangerous passengers can face potential criminal charges, fines up to $35,000, and even lifetime bans from certain airlines. Worth it for an overpriced airport beer? I don’t think so.