Airlines Seek to Boot Air Marshals From First Class

Oct 20, 2010

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Found this USA Today article pretty interesting. Whether you know it or not, many US flights have armed air marshals on-board who are there in case a security situation arises. Almost all of the time, they are seated in first class (and are sometimes easily spotted because they are one of the only people not partaking in alcoholic beverages). There have been many reports of upgraded flyers being moved out of their seats and even being downgraded to coach in order to make room for the air marshals.

I’m by no means against this program, but why is it absolutely necessary for air marshals to sit in first class? My guess would be proximity to protect the cockpit, but the bulkhead in coach is usually only a couple feet away. Then again there is usually a curtain shielding first class from the coach cabin, so I can see why they’d want to be in first (and the big comfy seat might also make a big difference to a person whose job it is to fly all day – literally).

So what say you, frequent flyers? Is additional security worth the chance of losing your next upgrade? Do you think air marshals should ride in coach,  just like (almost) everybody else?

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