Citing an increase in disruptive and drunken behavior, British Airways last week tightened its policy. If the crew thinks someone might be drunk or disorderly, that person will not be al-lowed to board, British Airways spokesman John Lampl said.
The previous policy barred obviously inebriated passengers. "We were letting them on if it was questionable," Lampl explained. Cabin crews also will stop serving drinks to people who appear on the verge of becoming drunk. The airline began its "get tough" policy after two recent cases in which passengers were jailed for assaulting cabin crews.
Will other airlines follow? Gareth Edmondson-Jones, spokesman for Virgin Atlantic Airways, said "this is one of the rare instances when we actually support BA's thinking." But he added that Virgin Atlantic is a "bit more flexible" on the problem.
TWA spokesman Donn Walker said that disruptive incidents are rare and that though TWA won't board or serve alcohol to drunk passengers, "the last thing any airline wants to do is offend a passenger who is not drunk."