July 13: Voice of The (Anchorage) Times on in-flight behavior.

Posted: Monday, July 17, 2000

Not having been aboard Continental Airline's Flight 120 from Anchorage to Seattle last week, we can't offer any personal description of the disturbance in which a woman passenger is said to have thrown a can of beer at a flight attendant and to have taken a bite out of one of the pilots who attempted to restrain her.

All of that, of course, will come up in the legal proceedings in which 38-year-old Norma Linda Lozano now finds herself. In any event, she's in a world of hurt with federal authorities.

No matter her personal problems. We feel considerable sympathy, however, for the other passengers and crew members who were aboard that flight.

That kind of in-flight behavior can be frightening for all concerned, and the serious possibilities are clearly evident by the severe penalties that can be assessed against who lose control of themselves while aboard commercial flights.

We do feel good about one aspect of this, however.

Thank goodness this didn't happen on an Alaska Airlines flight.

The resulting publicity, given the string of bad press that Alaska has been getting lately, would have been compounded fourfold and the headlines would have been bigger and bolder.

We're sorry it had to happen on a Continental flight, of course.

But given the circumstances, we'd be willing to bet that even some Continental employees might say, ''Better us than them'' -- meaning they, too, would hate to see Alaska Airlines take any more chops to the chin. And the whole sorry business is a reminder to the rest of us to tend to our manners when we board an airplane.

Getting into an argument is a bad thing to do any time, for sure.

But doing it at 30,000 feet is a lot worse. It can land you, as Miss Lozano can attest, in a big pile of trouble -- U.S. attorney style.

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