Something In The Air

When Airlines Deal With Unruly Passengers

There was a report in the New York Times recently that Swissair has decided to crack down on unruly passengers by having crew members tie them to their seats with plastic cords.

At this point they deal with most people who have had too much to drink, and other out of control passengers by giving them a paper warning them they can be prosecuted when the plane lands.

That usually gets people to put a lid on it but not always.

The crew's union is against the idea of tying people to their seats, but is negotiating the exact terms.

I guess the questions have to do with when you would tie someone to their seat: If they shout or if they push someone? Do you warn them? Do you say, "You do that once more, and I'm going to tie you to your seat?"

The idea of tying people on a plane to their seats is an interesting one, but why stop at unruly passengers?

Let's consider what to do with people who talk so loudly on phones that they're heard all over the plane. How about just an adhesive gag thing there? We don't have to tie them to their seats. They could still get up and move around the cabin. They just wouldn't be able to talk.

And while we're at it, what should we do with stewardesses, currently known as flight attendants, who say they'll be right back, and it feels like the next time you see them is when you're disembarking.

Now, of course, I don't mean all flight attendants (I could be on a plane soon), but with some of them, sometimes you get the feeling they already are tied to their seats.

How about the captain who wakes you from a sound sleep to let you know there's some mountain you might want to take a look at, usually not on your side of the plane? Gagging I think is enough there.

What to do with people who cause disturbances on planes is of course a serious issue, and I think the whole concept of tying unruly passengers to their seats is a good one, but it's only a nice beginning.