Identification and mitigation measures for the prevention an unruly passenger incident must occur at all stages of the journey, beginning when the passenger first enters the terminal at the point of origin. To do this, companies and airport authorities must be vigilant when interacting with the public. Some suggested strategies are as follows:
Check In - Check In staff should be encouraged to identify, and to report, any passenger whose behavior would suggest that they might be a hazard for flight. As an example, if a person appears to be in an intoxicated state or is acting strangely, their condition and actions should be reported to the ground supervisor before they are embark the flight. Where a potential problem is identified, an assessment should be made by the person(s) nominated by the operator (Airline Duty Manager, PIC, Cabin Service Manager, etc) and a decision made to grant or to deny carriage.
Security Screening - Personnel at the security screening points can be trained to be part of the mitigation measures. For example, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) developed a Zero Tolerance Unruly Passenger policy after noticing an increase in the number of unruly passenger incidents at screening checkpoints. CATSA considers that people who engage in unruly behavior during screening could be a safety risk to passengers and crew during a flight. A number of airlines now use a CATSA report of unruly behaviour during security processing as the basis for denying transport.
Boarding Gate - A passenger's state of intoxication, anxiety or agitation may not be recognized until his or her arrival at the boarding gate. A passenger who has checked in early or who has been subject to a departure delay may well have ample time to consume excessive amounts of alcohol after the assessments that took place at check in or during security screening. Frustration levels will often rise with mechanical or weather related flight delays.
Prior to Departure - The final chance to leave a potential problem on the ground occurs just before the aircraft doors are closed. Observation of the boarding passengers by the Cabin Crew is an important tool for identifying potentially problematic behavior. Cabin Crew should note passengers who are extremely nervous, intoxicated, loud or who otherwise appear suspicious. The first step in intervention would be for a member of the Cabin Crew to attempt speaking with the passenger. Often, this contact is all that is required to defuse the behavior and to gain the passenger’s cooperation. If it does not, then the situation should be handled as appropriate to the level of unruly behavior. Unless the situation can be resolved to the satisfaction of the crew, if a passenger displays disruptive behavior while the aircraft is still on the ground, they, and their baggage, should be removed from the aircraft.