Feds Ask Airports to Monitor Passengers Alcohol Consumption: ‘Contributes to Unsafe Behavior’

A flight of Samuel Adams beers from "Flytoberfest," the first-ever "Inflight Beer Flight,"
Jason DeCrow/AP Images for JetBlue

A video of passengers duct taping a man to his seat on a plane after he allegedly groped female flight attendants is said to have led Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials to ask U.S. airports to monitor travelers for alcohol consumption.

FAA Administrator Steve Dickson sent a letter on Tuesday to airport managers, urging them to make sure people who are patronizing restaurants and bars ahead of flights do not drink too much.

“As the number of passengers traveling has increased, so has the number of unruly and unsafe behavior incidents on planes and in airports,” Dickson wrote in the letter. “Our investigations show that alcohol often contributes to this unsafe behavior.”

“The FAA requests that airports work with their concessionaires to help avoid this,” Dickson wrote:

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.

NBC reported on the Orwellian request and the drunk passenger:

The FAA also suggested that airports could bring greater awareness of alcohol prohibition on flights through “signage, public service announcement, and concessionaire education.”

The administrator’s letter comes days after passengers duct taped a man to his seat aboard a flight from Philadelphia to Miami after he allegedly groped two flight attendants and got into a physical altercation with another, authorities said. Miami-Dade County police said the incident happened on a late-night Saturday flight and involved an intoxicated passenger.

The man, Maxwell Berry, 22, was arrested Sunday at Miami International Airport and charged with three counts of battery, according to an arrest report.

The agency earlier announced a “zero-tolerance” policy over unruly airline passengers. 

“Unruly or dangerous passengers can face potential criminal charges, fines up to $35,000 or lifetime bans on certain airlines,” NBC reported.

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