Last year was the worst year for the FAA’s record for incidents of unruly passengers. For a while it felt like every day someone was recording someone else mess up on a plane. Now, a year after the FAA and airlines adopted new policies, things are much better. The rate of unruly passengers has been halved.
Last year was a tough time for air travel. If you haven’t get caught up in one of tens of thousands of flight cancellations, there was a rare chance that someone on your plane would do something wrong. A bit of everything happened, from someone punching and groping flight attendants, someone start a fight on a seat pocket and even some weirdos who compared to great historical figures.
In January 2021, the FAA followed what he called disturbing incidents of passenger behavior. Bad passenger behavior seemed to be on the rise, and as a result, FAA Administrator Steve Dickson signed an order for stricter enforcement of these incidents.
Part of this app understand public shaming, memes, less leniency and fines as much as the price of a new pickup per violation. Along with politics, the number of investigations has nearly surpassed all-time highs.
Airlines have partnered with the FAA to change their own policies. FAA noted that a number of incidents involved people being intoxicated with take-out alcohol at the airport before drinking even more on their flights. In response, the FAA urged airports to stop serving take-out alcohol. Meanwhile, some airlines have removed alcohol from their beverage services. Unruly passengers have also been banned from some airlines after incidents.
Some of these incidents have even resulted in criminal charges for unruly passengers.
One year after adopting the zero tolerance policy, the The latest FAA data shows that incidents have been reduced by more than half.
It seems people are getting the message that causing a disruption on a flight isn’t worth it. Things kind of leveled off over the summer before picking up a bit in the fall. 2021 ended with an unruly passenger rate of 6.9 per 10,000 flights.
In our short time in 2022, there have only been 76 reports of unruly passengers with just 43 mask-related incidents. The rate of unruly passengers has now fallen to 4.9 incidents per 10,000 flights. That’s still higher than the FAA wants, and the regulator is considering even tougher penalties, like revoking TSA PreCheck clearances on a federal no-fly list.
The FAA handles some 45,000 flights a day, so it was already rare for your flight to have an unruly passenger. Now it’s even rarer. Of course, it’s worse for the flight crews who have to deal with these people, especially when they get physical.
Hopefully the trend continues and people keep calming down and hopefully a little kinder. Commercial flights can suck at times, but there’s never a reason to make it worse.