Not-so-friendly skies a result of out of control passengers who need reined in

At the start of this year, the Federal Aviation Administration announced a zero-tolerance policy against unruly passengers on flights.

Since then, more than 400 cases have reached the level of being officially investigated. More than 3,000 incidents involving unruly passengers have been reported since Jan. 1. The FAA has recorded nearly 100 cases of “air rage” in the past week alone.

What in the world is going on?

The FAA says those 400 cases are three times the full-year average number of cases over the past decade. Certainly some of the increase in reported cases of bad behavior can be attributed to adopting a zero-tolerance policy, but there must be more to it.

Alcohol, hostility to mask mandates and other conflicts that get out of control — in a few case involving physical violence among passengers — are blamed for the escalation of problems in the sky. Also a factor is the return to flying in the wake of the pandemic.

Earlier this month, bad behavior by a group of high school students on an American Airlines flight led to the flight being delayed for a day, impacting travel and vacation plans for the innocent passengers booked on the flight.

TSA officials are worried enough about passenger behavior that they have resumed offering self-defense training to flight attendants and pilots.

It is a shame to think some passengers might have so little regard that they would be anything but polite and respectful on a flight, but if there really are people who become so unruly, flight attendants and pilots will be lining up for the training. Good for the TSA for doing something else to keep airline workers a little safer. It is a shame they needed to do it.


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