Are airlines responsible for bad passengers?

Written by admin on September 25, 2009 – 4:47 pm -

After reading this article about unruly fliers, I wondered how many air travelers had seen other passengers misbehaving.

I’m not referring to parents who allow their children to run up and down the aisles. Or people who cram so much in overhead bins that if they open mid-flight, your life may be at stake. Annoying as those things are, they’re not federal offenses.

Perhaps it’s being a contrarian, but are there times when clearing security, the pre-flight and in-flight experience has been sufficiently exacerbating, that by the time passengers board, they’re ready to riot.

What could airlines do to make travel easier? How would you improve going through security? What measures would you like to see adopted when you’re going from here to there?

If airlines were to serve everyone meals on flights that are longer than two hours (or after you’ve been sitting on the tarmac more than an hour) would that lessen the pain?

In these days of massive cutbacks, are airlines being penny wise and pound foolish, by not offering more customer service when most passengers feel as if they’re being delegated to sardine status  — especially if they’re seated in the far, far back of the plane.

Should airlines stop serving alcohol? Sure, drinks are moneymakers on the P&L statement. But, are there statistics as to how many trouble-making events are directly attributable to passengers’ alcohol levels? Even if they’re served only one drink in-flight, some people are cheap drunks while others may board flights already sloshed.

Should passengers be required to take a Breathalyzer test before boarding? Drug tests?

We’ve been on flights when the crew hasn’t given enough information or when they’ve shared too much — especially in the middle of the night. Plus, there can be communications problems when people don’t understand announcements in a foreign language or they’re so garbled that even if the announcement is in your native language, you’re lost.

Please post some doable things the airlines could tackle to make trips more pleasurable.

Karen Fawcett is president of Bonjour Paris.

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Posted in Consumer Traveler |