FAA Makes Big Ask of Airports to Control Unruly Travelers

Agency wants bars, restaurants to nix booze 'to go,' as passengers try to bring those drinks on board
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2021 10:10 AM CDT
FAA to Airports: Stop Giving Travelers Booze 'to Go'
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/aapsky)

Multiple airlines have already cut back on serving alcohol in the air, due to a spike in incidents involving out-of-control passengers, and now the Federal Aviation Administration is appealing to airports to do their part. Per NBC News, FAA chief Steve Dickson's letter to airport managers on Tuesday noted how, as people took to traveling again, there'd been a jump in "unruly and unsafe behavior incidents," both in the air and on the ground before boarding, and that alcohol often played a role in those incidents. Dickson then asked the airports to be a part of the solution—specifically, by having their restaurants and bars more closely monitor those who are drinking, and by not offering customers "to go" containers for their boozy libations. "Passengers believe they can carry that alcohol onto their flights or they become inebriated during the boarding process," Dickson wrote.

He added that, to remind passengers they can't bring their drinks on board, airports could also use "signage, public service announcements, and concessionaire education." The FAA has received 3,700-plus reports of unruly passengers since the beginning of the year, with more than 2,700 of them involving the wearing of face masks, per ABC News. One recent booze-fueled incident that made headlines involved a 22-year-old man on a Frontier flight: Authorities say he had at least two drinks during the trip before he allegedly groped two flight attendants, then punched another in the face. The crew ended up duct-taping him to a seat. Per the Chicago Sun-Times, flight attendants have joined in the FAA-airlines chorus on passenger incidents, with 85% noting in a recent survey that they'd had to contend with an unruly passenger at least once so far this year. (More FAA stories.)

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