Aug 5, 2021 - Politics & Policy

FAA urges airports to help with unruly passengers, end to-go alcohol

An airplane flying in the sky

Photo: Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images

The Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday urged airports to discourage the sale of "to-go" alcohol and help put an end to the rise of assaults on flight attendants.

Why it matters: The FAA has received 3,715 reports of rowdy passengers so far in 2021, with more than 70% of incidents related to the mask requirement on flights.

  • Nearly 1 in 5 flight attendants reported experiencing a "physical incident" with an unruly passenger this year, according to the Association of Flight Attendants.
  • Of note via Axios' Hope King: Travel is rebounding to pre-pandemic levels, but the pandemic is not over
    • Like many other service sector workers, flight attendants are on the front lines of public interactions. As they now need to enforce mask mandates on top of regular safety procedures onboard, they’re also feeling less safe doing their jobs.

The big picture: FAA administrator Steve Dickson said in a letter this week to 1,000 commercial airports nationwide that the agency is doing all it can to address a surge in disorderly behavior on planes, "but we need your help."

  • "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," Dickson wrote. "The FAA requests that airports work with their concessionaires to help avoid this."
  • FAA regulations prohibit consuming alcohol on flights when it is not provided by the airline.

Go deeper: Frontier passenger taped to seat after allegedly assaulting 3 flight attendants

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