I would suggest that gate agents have available to them a handheld 'quickie' breathalizer, that could at least give the gate agent an unbiased way to determine if a suspected pax is intoxicated at a level to be a danger to themselves or a danger or annoyance to other pax. Similar units are used by police in various parts of the world to screen if a driver of a car is under the influence. The standard to board the aircraft should be the same as in a car - i.e. 0.8 in the USA. Now if WN
used this a few times on the show "Airline"! I do believe in allowing the serving alcoholic beverages on flights, but perhaps all pax should have to pay for them, even in first class. Growing numbers of people don't drink or choose not to drink alcoholic beverages on an airplane, so why should we all subsidies it.
The other problem are the persons whom are using legal drugs illegally or illegal drugs and under the influence from them. It is difficult unless a trained medical professional to determine if such a person truly under the infuence here.
There are also many pax whom are just plain jerks - even when sober. There is also the issues of mentally ill or emotionally unstable person on an aircraft. How do you determine who is such and deal with it.
There should be international agreements as to how to deal with disruptive pax, with levels of procedures to determine if the problem is not under the pax's control or just deciced to get ripped on booze before or during the flight. Jail may be the only way to deal with the most disruptive, especially if the person has to be restrained or causes an emergency diversion. There was a case in August 2000 on WN
where a mentaly disturbed pax tried to get into the cockpit, the other pax restrained him, broke his neck and HE
DIED! The court in Texas never proscuted anyone in anyway for his death. Guess it would have been difficult to get witness to determine how the guy died. That may be one extreme way of dealing with the problem, but we want to find ways to prevent such an escalation.
[Edited 2004-04-16 04:25:32]