Commands on aircraft must be obeyed
Stabroek News
March 19, 2002

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Dear Editor,

While the enquiry continues regarding the passenger's behaviour on BWIA's flight, there are a few simple rules that one follows whilst travelling by air.

All commands given by the captain and flight crew must be obeyed. Aviation rules, procedures and guidelines are there for safety purposes and must be adhered to, moreso after Sept 11.

Disobeying orders from the police (of any country) and resisting such orders will place you in harm's way and will not get you any positive points.

Customer service problems have to be dealt with at the appropriate time and place. While on board an aircraft whether in the air or ground is not the right time and place to be verbally loud.

How serious is the zero tolerance in other places? If the situation occurred in mid-flight over North America, armed sky marshals will subdue the person. Homeland defence will scramble fighter jet escorts (U.S or Canadian). If the commercial plane does not obey the commands of the escorts' pilots and strays drastically from the approved flight plan and there is a clear and present danger to populated areas, then the airliner will be shot down.

In Canadian international airports, making a remark (funny or not) about threats to the flight or airport environment will make you get charged. A heavy fine or jail time or both may be the result.

Causing a disturbance in mid-flight and making the plane detour, the airline reserves the right to sue the offending party for the extra costs involved. Aircraft fuel is not cheap.

I hope that other travellers understand there is no room for animosity, especially at 30,000 feet in the air.

Yours faithfully,

Peter Young