In a letter to airport managers, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has asked airports to curb the sales of alcohol in “to go” cups, stating that it emboldens passengers to consume alcohol onboard and contributes to the rise in poor behavior onboard. It also wants local police to file more criminal charges against passengers who misbehave onboard.
FAA Wants To Curb Alcohol In “To Go” Cups At Airports
The letter, signed by FAA Administrator Steve Dickson, links poor behavior onboard to the sale of alcohol in “to go” cups in airports:
“As the number of passengers traveling has increased, so has the number of unruly and unsafe behavior incidents on planes and in airports…
“Our investigations show that alcohol often contributes to this unsafe behavior. The FAA requests that airports work with their concessionaires to help avoid this. Even though FAA regulations specifically prohibit the consumption of alcohol aboard an aircraft that is not served by the airline, we have received reports that some airport concessionaires have offered alcohol ‘to go,’ and passengers believe they can carry that alcohol onto their flights or they become inebriated during the boarding process.”
While the letter stops short of banning the sales of alcohol in “to go” cups (especially in a COVID-19 world in which the use of such cups has proliferated), it does call for more signs and education:
“Airports can help bring awareness to this prohibition on passengers carrying open alcohol onboard their flights…through signage, public service announcements, and concessionaire education.”
FAA Calls For More Criminal Charges For Unruly Passengers
Furthermore, the FAA wants local law enforcement to step up prosecution for unruly passengers:
“While the FAA has levied cilvil fines against unruly passengers, it has no actual authority to prosecute criminal cases. Every week, we see situations in which law enforcement was asked to meet an aircraft at the gate following an unruly passenger incident. IN some cases, flight attendants have reported being physically assaulted. Nevertheless, many of these passengers were interviewed by local police and released without criminal. charges of any kind. When this occurs, we miss a key opportunity to hold unruly passengers accountable for their unacceptable and dangerous behavior.”
FAA Administrator Steve Dickson has reached out to airports for their help with unruly and dangerous passengers who drink excessively. We have zero tolerance for bad behavior on airplanes. #FlySmart pic.twitter.com/YMObQYla56
— The FAA ✈️ (@FAANews) August 5, 2021
The FAA hopes that curbing the number of passengers bringing “to go” cups of alcohol onboard will lead to better behavior. It hopes to accomplish this through education rather than an outright ban. Furthermore, the FAA wants local law enforcement to be more aggressive in holding passengers accountable for bad behavior.
Will either policy help to stem poor behavior onboard?