It sounds like good news: The Federal Aviation Administration reports that its tally of unruly passenger incidents in 2014 was the lowest in 20 years. A mere 121 incidents were reported, compared to 310 as recently as 2004. But the New York Times takes issue with the number, on the basis of anecdotal evidenced, not to mention in-flight videos of nasty behavior captured by fellow passengers and broadcast to the world.
Last month I wrote about the high price of bad behavior on board. The FAA handed out 20 fines of $10,000 or more from 2010 through September 2014 to passengers who attacked flight crew members or other passengers, got wildly drunk and disruptive or otherwise caused a major ruckus. Is the get-tough policy making potential trouble-makers think twice? We can only hope.