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The FAA's New Threatening Commercial Wants You to Know 'Unruly Behavior Doesn't Fly'

News Airports + Flying
by Olivia Harden Aug 25, 2021

As reports of unruly passengers on flights increase, the Federal Aviation Administration has developed creative ways to inform flyers about its new zero-tolerance policy, including memes and a commercial that uses kids to condemn the behavior. But the FAA’s latest video takes a more grim approach, using the voices of pilots reporting incidents and how that can be a distraction during the flight.

Gloomy music in the background is accompanied by sounds of an incident occurring in the cabin. At the same time, pilots are heard over the airways saying things like: “We’ve got a disruptive customer in the back,” “We’d like to divert,” and “We need to get off the airplane.” The ending states, “You don’t want your pilots distracted. Unruly behavior doesn’t fly.” It’s unconfirmed whether the audio is from real or staged incidents.

The 3,988 reports of unruly passenger behavior listed in the tweeted video include nine passengers that hadn’t been reported in the press release just five days prior. Over 73 percent of cases are due to flyers who refuse to wear their mask. The refusal breaks a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) order passed in 2020 that requires masks to be worn on all public transportation, including flights and inside airports. In 2019, less than 150 cases were reported.

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