Hello, Fellow Kids: The FAA Is Using Memes to Intimidate Unruly Passengers
Apparently duct-taping passengers to their seats isn't the preferred method
It’s been a turbulent year for the airline industry, and we’re not talking exclusively of the atmospheric variety. Just three quarters into the year, and 2021 has already seen an unprecedented number of escalated incidents in the skies. In fact, according to one New York Times report, the Federal Aviation Administration received roughly 1,300 complaints from February through May pertaining to “unruly passengers” — as many as they’ve pursued action against in the entirety of the last decade.
Since that report came out, a Southwest flight attendant made headlines after losing two teeth to an assault by a passenger and Frontier shortly thereafter when one passenger was duct taped to his seat for groping two flight attendants and punching a third. In June, The Washington Post wrote about how the TSA had planned to take the next logical step in addressing the rise in passenger violence by reinstating self-defense courses for both flight attendants and pilots. So, in short, it’s safe to assume that the number of complaints the FAA is receiving isn’t on the decline.
In a secondary attempt to appeal to some of the more lawless passengers, however, the FAA is taking another, exponentially less serious approach: memes.
That’s right, the largest transportation agency of the U.S. government is deploying memes to help combat the escalation of passenger incidents in the air. A series of images posted to the agency’s website co-opt a handful of stock and pop-culture images to convey the rather serious message that there is a zero-tolerance policy for disruptive passengers. Reflective of the order signed on January 13 of this year by FAA Administrator Steve Dickson “directing a stricter legal enforcement policy against unruly airline passengers,” the memes warn fliers of the consequences that accompany such behavior, e.g., a $35,000 fine.
Below, find, enjoy and perhaps share the newest additions to the FAA’s “Zero Tolerance for Unruly and Dangerous Behavior Toolkit.”
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