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‘Don’t embarrass me!’ FAA uses memes to ground bad in flight behavior

Not wearing a mask or fighting with airline staff can lead to expensive fines and criminal charges.

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The FAA memes about unruly passengers.

The FAA has tweeted memes about passenger safety and unruly passengers.

Screenshot, FAA Twitter

Buckle up when the light is on. Turn off your cellphone while the plane is flying. Listen to airline staff. No fighting.

A handful of simple and unique rules on commercial flights ensures air travel is safe and can be — minus the small seats and delays — enjoyable.

The Federal Aviation Administration is now using memes, or humorous social media posts, to try to get through to travelers that they need to follow the laws of air travel, The Washington Post reported.

“Don’t embarrass me! I raised you better than to act that way,” says an elderly woman — perhaps each of our mothers or grandmothers — pointing a scolding finger in a meme posted by the FAA.

The Twitter post includes FAA data on “Unruly Passengers” this year.

  • The FAA said on July 20 that it had received 3,509 reports of unruly passengers, and 2,605 of those were cases of someone who did not obey a federal government mask mandate.

Kristina Harris, an FAA communication strategist, told The Washington Post that leaders in the administration “encouraged us to think outside of what we have normally done.”

  • “Our team is really energetic and innovative, but we’ve never … gone from the regulatory serious government agency to sharing a meme on our official accounts,” Harris said.

Feds requires masks on planes

As a pandemic precaution, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Transportation Security Administration require individuals to wear masks at airports and on flights.

The order has become a point of contention for some travelers, whose arguments and fights with airline staff has gone viral. This bad, and illegal behavior can result in criminal charges, expensive fines and even being banned from an airline.

This week the FAA reported, in another meme, that it had received more than 3,800 reports of bad passenger behavior this year, including nearly 2,800 reports that a passenger had refused to wear a mask.

  • “The second rule of Fight Club...is to not fight on a plane!,” the post says, playing on a famous line from the movie “Fight Club,” a 1999 blockbuster about anarchists starring Edward Norton and Brad Pitt.
  • “You could have spent $35,000 on a brand new truck, but instead you are paying a fine because you punched a flight attendant,” another meme muses.