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United Asks Crews Not to Duct Tape Passengers to Seats

United Boeing 767-300

With two highly publicized events involving duct tape on aircraft, United Airlines is asking their flight crews not to follow the trend. In a memo to their crews, company leadership is requesting that tape not be used to restrain unruly flyers.

Unruly flyers aboard United Airlines may be detained by seat belts and plastic hand cuffs, but duct tape won’t be one of the tools utilized to keep passengers in their seats. Newsweek reports the airline is asking flight crews to not use “alternative measures” if they are forced to confront a flyer’s bad behavior.

After American and Frontier Incidents, United Bans Duct Tape Restraints

The memo to the flight crews comes after two highly publicized incidents involving the strong adhesive. At the beginning of August 2021, Frontier Airlines made headlines after flight attendants used duct tape to secure a passenger accused of assaulting the crew. Frontier ultimately put the crew on leave to investigate the situation.

Days later, a child was allegedly duct taped to a seat aboard an American Airlines flight after witnesses say he attempted to kick out a window. Although the airline denied tape was used, a video shared on social media shows a flight attendant with a roll of tape going to the seat.

In a memo sent out by senior vice president of inflight services John Slater and seen by Newsweek, the head of flight crews asked that duct tape not be used in the event a passenger becomes unruly. Instead, he is asking crews to use the items aboard flights designed to keep flyers at their seats – and prevent them from becoming a hazard to the flight or other passengers.

“As you’ve likely seen, a few airlines have recently made news about the way they’ve handled situations onboard,” the memo reads, according to Newsweek. “When things have evolved, you’ve relied on all aspects of inflight safety training, including de-escalation… Please remember that there are designated items onboard that may be used in difficult situations, and alternative measures such as tape should never be used.”

United’s decision comes after the carrier announced mandatory vaccination for employees. All workers will need to get inoculated by Oct. 25, 2021.

United Request Comes as Unruly Passenger Incidents Increase

Although United is asking flight crews to not use duct tape to restrain flyers, the number of unruly passenger reports continues to increase. According to the latest data, the Federal Aviation Administration has received over 3,800 unruly passenger reports, resulting in 655 investigations.

Iam Jetlagged August 27, 2021

At no point should any person (even one that is a safety risk) be ‘attached’ to any part of the aircraft in the unfortunate event of an emergency evacuation; all people must have accessible egress from the aircraft.

MRM August 27, 2021

LOL, Airwolf - I love the sarcasm! Nobody with a pulse could truly believe what you wrote - well-done!

WebTraveler August 18, 2021

Use what you have. Safety of everyone else is paramount to the flight, not the clowns that threaten other passengers.

arcticflier August 18, 2021

This last year has been filled with some bazaar headlines and behaviors here in the US. This one can be added to the list.

SarcasticMisanthrope August 18, 2021

However dragging passengers off a plane is still okey-dokey with the Airline.