How corrupted is our government? BOTH parties get GAO to blame customers for tensions at airports. Of course the inaccessible cartel is the root of almost all tension: How about telling grievously screwed over pax to: “log on to AA.com etc” to compla...
The GAO report actually does point to airlines as well as passengers as a cause of the behavior.
See their summary page:
"These stakeholders also said that alcohol consumption, frustration over airlines’ business practices (e.g., fees for checked or carry-on baggage), and long lines can contribute to these incidents"
And while alcohol consumption by the passengers was often blamed for the confrontations, the report adds:
"Seventeen selected stakeholders we interviewed also told us that airlines’ business practices, such as charging fees for checked and carry-on baggage or policies around delays and cancellations might aggravate or surprise passengers and lead them to be aggressive toward customer service agents. Some stakeholders (10) also said that other factors, such as long lines and large crowds in the airport can increase passengers’ stress levels. Moreover, according to some stakeholders, service failures—such as flight delays, cancellations, or lost baggage—can exacerbate these stressors." (See page 11)
All in all, the report seems reasonably balanced. (It should be noted that the interviews by GAO were of airline employees who experienced the incidents, and did not include interviews of the alleged perpetrators to determine what set them off. I suppose it would have been a bit hard to arrange such interviews, though, since this was all "after the fact".)
I would respectfully disagree that the report is balanced in any meaningful way. The framing of the issue fatally undermines it. The premise-employee victims and angry drunken passengers is frankly disgraceful. GAO is supposed to have the kind of perspective and global view of these issues that would allow them to made comprehensive diagnoses and radical solutions to the engineered-and that is what it is-cartel engineered abomination and bloodsport of US air travel. Think of it: an industry that has turned deliberate infliction of emotional and physical suffering into a tidy earner for itself. A couple of perfunctory throw away lines doesn’t change the fact that 90% of the report blames passengers for the battlefield that Wall Street demanded air travel become.
@ahappyelite: You may be right that a more extensive inquiry into the passenger experience would be more balanced, but remember that GAO is focusing on the question it was asked -- "The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 included a provision that GAO examine passenger violence against airline customer service agents at airports."
In fairness, the only people GAO had available to interview were the "victims" so the results understandably reflect their perceptions for the most part; if they had a similar universe of "perpetrators" to interview, the results might have been less one-sided, but I do have to commend them for recognizing that the "violence against airline CSAs" might be because of the airline practices and customer treatment and not solely because of the pax themselves.