I have been to many airports such as LAS
(allows smoking in airport bars and allows drinks as long as they are in a plastic cup outside of the bar) and BNA
(if you want to go to the smoking area with your drink a plastic cup is provided).
The issue is not weather or not alcoholic beverages should be available after the security checkpoint or on board, the issue is individual behavior. Many people such as myself know my limits and can control our behavior. The instances that you see on Television are isolated and just one airlines policy.
Seems to me that WN
has a very strict policy on drinking before boarding the aircraft. The passenger that was escorted off the aircraft in my opinion was behaving himself and not causing any problems, Southwest policy to escort a passenger off the aircraft because another passenger was uncomfortable is unfounded and I don't believe it is appropriate customer service.
I understand that people should feel comfortable on board the aircraft but to me if a passenger has been allowed to board the decision has already been made to allow the passenger to travel. As a gate agent I have had to deal with this situation on a couple of occasions. Both times before the passenger has even boarded the aircraft the crew was asked if they were comfortable transporting the passenger. Each time the passenger was denied boarding due to the Crews recommendation. His seat released and reassigned to another passenger. The passenger was advised before the boarding process started that he would be denied boarding and re-booked for a later flight and advised to not consume anymore alcoholic beverages.
On another occasion I was called to the aircraft due to a passenger complaint that another passenger appeared to be intoxicated and they felt uncomfortable. After talking to the crew (Flight Attendants, Captain and First Officer) I was advised that the passengers had been briefed and were deemed to be fit for travel. No problems at all. Passengers that had the complaint were advised about the crews decision and the aircraft got to its destination without incident.
Basically Behave yourself, don't get rowdy in the gate area, and act in a manner its acceptable in public. Take alcohol and airport bars out of airport terminals and you will have some miserable travelers. I to enjoy a drink before a long flight and some on board especially if I am on vacation. Most passengers know not to overdo it and control their behavior.
I am getting a little tired of seeing intoxicated passengers being denied boarding on the show but when they start making asses of themselves it is pretty funny.
Just my two cents worth.
"Fly Widget Fly"
"Keep Singing Song"
"Service and Hospitality from the Heart." (C. E. Woolman, Delta airlines first CEO and founder.)