The Frontier Airlines passenger who was ultimately taped to his seat last week may be the latest to make headlines for bad behavior, but he’s far from the only one.
As of Aug. 1, the Federal Aviation Administration had investigated 3,715 reports of unruly passengers so far this year. That’s a lot more than we’ve seen in the past.
Now, the FAA is asking airport leaders for more help, sending a letter earlier this week that makes several specific requests.
One is that airport concessionaires stop offering alcohol to-go, adding that "passengers believe they can carry that alcohol onto their flights."
And secondly, FAA Administrator Steve Dickson wrote, "Every week, we see situations in which law enforcement was asked to meet an aircraft at the gate following an unruly passenger incident … Nevertheless, many of these passengers were interviewed by local police and released without criminal charges of any kind."
"Although the buck stops with the passenger, we know that there are contributing factors," Travel Expert Troy Petenbrink told FOX 5 in regards to the letter. "We know that some of these passengers are being overserved at the airport and in the bars and restaurants before they even get on the plane, they’re not being stopped at the gate before they get on the plane. So that part needs to be fixed. At the same time, if people do this, there needs to be consequences."2
Similar requests have been made before. Back in June, airline groups sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, asking the Justice Department to prosecute unruly flyers.