DEAR ABBY: Your answer to "Sick of Disrespect in Dallas" didn't go far enough. The proper way to handle verbal abuse or unacceptable behavior on an airplane is to immediately complain directly to the flight attendant before the situation escalates. If he or she fails to put the perpetrator in place, inform the attendant that you will file a complaint with the airline citing failure to handle a threatening situation.
No one should have to tolerate or witness profanity, drunken behavior, or any other form of abuse in the air, on land or at sea.
However, I agree that one should never directly confront someone who is out of control. -- LOOKING FOR FRIENDLIER SKIES
DEAR LOOKING: I'm pleased that you do. Although each airline has its own regulations for handling disruptive passengers, it is my understanding that most of them follow a similar scenario. If the flight attendant cannot "calm down" or stop inappropriate behavior, he or she will have the pilot come back and talk to the passenger. The pilot then informs the passenger that if he or she doesn't stop being disruptive, it will be necessary to land the plane at the nearest airport and the police will come on board and arrest the passenger.