Fun Time: Seven Simple Rules to keep you off the No-Fly List
The United States has a no-fly list, but is considering a second no-fly list that’s similar to India’s no-fly list.
The current list, administered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), is for anyone with terrorist ties. You’ll almost certainly be put on the list if you wear a tie adorned with pictures of Osama bin Laden.
As reported by the Associated Press, Congress is considering a proposal to create another no-fly list for unruly passengers, particularly those who’ve been violent on a plane.
“Strong penalties are needed to curb violent and unacceptable behavior,” said Cher Taylor, a Frontier Airlines flight attendant who witnessed one passenger assaulting another in 2021. “Bad behavior should not fly.”
Yes, bad behavior should be grounded. Too many people just don’t know how to behave on a plane. The media has informed us about the most flagrant cases, but did you know that 149 passengers have been placed on India’s no-fly list in the last three years? Depending on the severity of their offenses, passengers are placed on the no-fly list for as little as three months or as long as a lifetime. Hitting a flight attendant gets you a lifetime ban; hitting on a flight attendant gets you three months.
Nobody wants to be on a no-fly list, but people often don’t think about the consequences of their actions. That’s why I’d like to offer some simple rules that will help you stay off the list:
- Do not urinate on your fellow passengers. This may seem like an obvious thing, but there have been at least four incidents in the last six months of men relieving themselves on fellow passengers. The perpetrators were all of Indian descent, but before you draw any conclusions, let me just state that flying with 99.99 percent of the Indian male population will not require you to take an umbrella on board.
- Keep it in your pants. This rule is connected to the previous offense, but also to another offense: exposing yourself to fellow passengers. Whether this happens accidentally or deliberately, it’s something you generally want to avoid. Trust me, people don’t want to see it, at least not on a flight. And if a passenger says to you, “I’ve got something to show you,” the correct response is, “Only if I can take a picture of it for the FBI.”
- Do not do any pinching. No matter how attractive the flight attendants might be, do not try to pinch them. This also applies to your fellow passengers, as well as their belongings.
- Do not make any threats. This includes bomb threats or threatening to hijack the liquor cart. Don’t scare your fellow passengers. Some of them might panic and scream, “Oh no! How are we going to survive without alcohol?”
- No hitting, no spitting. Occupying a cramped plane with hundreds of strangers can be stressful, but you need to be patient and considerate. Don’t swear or pull someone’s hair over a reclined chair. Don’t practice “tit for tat” or even “spit for spat.”
- Do not fly drunk. Drinking in excess before flying (or during a flight) is never a good idea. The more you drink, the less you think. Being under the influence of alcohol or even drugs can lead to many other problems, such as mistaking the seat next to you for the loo.
- Do not smoke. Smoking has been banned on flights since Bill Clinton was president. The airlines do not want to have smokey cabins. They’re so strict about it that singer Smokey Robinson needs a special permit to fly.
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Compiled and partly written by Indian humorist MELVIN DURAI, author of the novel Bala Takes the Plunge.
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