A rash of unruly behavior in the past year has airlines seeking solutions.
Over the past year, multiple airlines operating out of the United States have experienced problems with unruly and occasionally violent passengers. According to the most recent statistics from the Federal Aviation Administration, over 4,385 incident reports have been filed, with roughly a third of those being related to face mask policies in the interest of pandemic safety. While the FAA has adopted a zero-tolerance policy and has been adding unruly passengers to warning lists, incident rates are still high, and it’s taking a toll on flight crews.
In the interest of keeping unruly passengers off of their flights, Delta Airlines has proposed a sharing of resources. All airlines maintain their own No-Fly lists, refusing entry to listed passengers, but all this does is put a passenger on a flight with a different airline to cause trouble. As such, Delta has suggested that airlines begin sharing their No-Fly lists to keep more detailed tabs on unruly passengers.
In a letter to flight attendants, Delta’s senior vice president of in-flight service, Kristen Manion Taylor, explained that the airline has asked “other airlines to share their ‘no fly’ list to further protect airline employees across the industry — something we know is top of mind for you as well.”
“A list of banned customers doesn’t work as well if that customer can fly with another airline.”
Delta Air Lines seeks to create shared 'no fly' list of unruly passengers with other airlines https://t.co/MbHSWGoWUn
— azcentral (@azcentral) September 24, 2021
One method other airlines are pursuing is limiting the sale of alcohol. Many of the unruly passengers that have been reported have been intoxicated at the time, which is why American Airlines and Southwest Airlines are not currently offering alcoholic drinks on their flights. Rep. Peter DeFazio, chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, noted in a written testimony on passenger behavior that local restaurants can aid in this process by not selling alcohol in to-go cups.
“There is no reason that a passenger should be able to leave a restaurant with a ‘to-go’ cup of alcohol and board a plane with it,” he said.