The ‘No Pee Rule’ Returns to DC Airports For Alaska Airlines Flights

After 9/11 passengers on flights to Washington’s National airport were required to remain seated for the last 30 minutes of their trip, and for the first 30 minutes on any flight departing the airport.

Dubbed by frequent flyers the “no pee rule” it was meant to immediately identify anyone that might be trying to take over the aircraft when it was close enough that it could hit the White House, U.S. Capitol or other high value target. More than 30 minutes out, presumably, the government thought it would be able to shoot down the plane.

This rule was suspended July 15, 2005. But now it’s back, at least for Alaska Airlines flights around the Presidential inauguration. And it’s been extended to one hour.

All passengers traveling to and from the DC metro area must stay seated one hour after take-off and one hour before landing.

The rule starts today, and applies not just to Alaska Airlines flights in and out of Washington National but also to their once-daily Seattle flights to both Washington Dulles and BWI. And while the rule is ‘temporary’ Alaska hasn’t announced its end date.

Sixteen years ago the TSA decided the rule requiring passengers to stay seated was no longer needed to deter threats thanks to “[s]ignificantly enhanced layers of security range from hardened cockpit doors to advanced screening procedures and air marshals on flights.”

Alaska Airlines deems MAGA protestors to be more devious threats, it seems, than Al-Qaeda terrorists, because they might project “TRUMP 2020” onto the ceiling of an aircraft – yet believes they can be foiled by foreclosing access to the lavatory at the beginning or end of a flight.

Increased mask enforcement is also noted as an inauguration security measure, which only makes sense as a pretext and strategy for identify MAGA passengers who might become disruptive. If they kick off anti-maskers they’re less likely to be carrying people likely to become disruptive traveling to or from the inaugural events.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Ridiculous. I might even book away from AS for a while just to punish them….this might just end up costing them a couple of thousands of my money. This serves to do NOTHING to deter anything. Maybe a few people should pee in their seats and what’s better,, you just know that if a 90 year old dares to use the lav, one of their “heroes” will come racing down the aisle to threaten them with police/arrest/20years in jail/$35000 fine. You think flight attendants have an overinflated sense of self importance now….just wait until this catches hold. I implore the other companies to not stupid follow this nonsense.

  2. If Trump just came out and said he lost the election because Biden received more votes legitimately, it would make everyone’s life a lot easier. He is such a liar and narcisisstsic loser, he can’t man up, admit defeat, and do the right thing for the country.

  3. @John
    That would have solved all that wrong with the world? This is solely AS posturing at the expense of innocent and elderly passengers.

  4. @John: He can’t because the election wasn’t legitimate in at least 4 states. And I live in one of them.

    As for AS, this kind of differential treatment based on ideology really discourages me from flying them. They had not a word to say about a summer of riots (CHOP/CHAZ, Kenosha, etc) but the protesters breaching the capitol building was right up there with 9/11. Absolute crap.

  5. The Alaska Airlines no pee rule is also the Alaska Airlines no poop rule.

    Alaska Airlines moves closer to their oneworld® launch in summer 2021. As a welcoming benefit, I believe Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Elite members with MVP Gold or MPV Gold 75K status and oneworld Sapphire or Emerald elite members should receive one complimentary adult diaper before passenger boarding on all flights with toilet restrictions. Hopefully, a system-wide adult diaper benefit will soon be offered on all oneworld Alliance member flights. Finally, to help differentiate the services in Alaska Airlines elite tiers, perhaps the MPV Gold 75K and oneworld Emerald Elite members should receive an extra adult diaper.

  6. If you have ever flown to Israel, you know this is Standard Operating Procedure required of all flights. And passengers accept without complaint. Whether it is ultimately effective I don’t know, but better to err on the side of caution.

  7. Hey! Astronauts wear diapers, when they can’t use a restroom. There’s no reason that the rest of us can’t do the same thing. Why should a mere airline passenger, think they are better than an astronaut? It would be nice if airlines provided their passengers with this apparel, since they seem to be the ones trying to change the rules on physiology. It’s only human courtesy. Just hope the pilots don’t have to lose their physiological “battle”, inside the outer marker on an ILS approach.

  8. @Stogieguy7 – must be interesting to live in the alternate reality where Trump did win the popular vote and he cruised to re-election, and he’s a super fantastic president

  9. A further extension of the airlines – who are being subdued by their taxpaying passengers – literally falling over themselves to go one better and portray themselves as some sort of “social justice guardians and facilitators.” We have plenty of these self righteous entities now trying to take over the county. This on the heals of some idiotic AA Captain threatening to land a plane in the middle of nowhere because passengers chanted “USA-USA.”

  10. @UA-CCS – must be interesting to live in an alternate universe where presidential elections are decided by the electoral college and not by national popular vote. And where Biden is suddenly way more popular that Obama, but only in MKE, ATL, DET and PHL and it’s totally organic. People in those cities – not their suburbs, mind you – absolutely adore a basement dwelling senile old man.

    Yeah, that must be quite a slice of psychotic heaven there.

  11. @UA-CCS – must be interesting to live in an alternate universe where presidential elections are decided by national popular vote and not by the electoral college. And where Biden is suddenly way more popular that Obama, but only in MKE, ATL, DET and PHL and it’s totally organic. People in those cities – not their suburbs, mind you – absolutely adore a basement dwelling senile old man.

    Yeah, that must be quite a slice of psychotic heaven there.

  12. 1. Usally there is a lavatory in the front of the aircraft and next to flight deck.
    2. Heading to the front to use the lavatory could be an excuse on the way to the front to eliminate the flight attendants and try to enter the flight deck OR harm fellow passengers.
    3. The terrorists that entered the Capital building had intent to harm and kidnap government officials and Congress.
    4. The FBI has warned that there is credible information that states that there may more attacks before the Biden becomes President.

    Alaska Airlines, as well as other American carriers, is doing what they can to protect their passengers, crew, and Americans on the ground by implementing these measures.
    There is certain group of American terrorists that wants to harm others.
    Complain, spend your money elsewhere, make jokes but, the Airlines are only responding to the actions of these terrorists. Please know the airlines didn’t ask for this sad era anymore then you did.

  13. @ Steve. I don’t think comparing US cities too Israel is a valid point, If the procedures used by Israel are followed in Washington DC, it’s going to be ugly. The US is not a war zone . . . with the possible exception of Detroit.

    “A 16-year-old Palestinian was shot dead by Israeli military forces near Ramallah Friday evening when hurling rocks at Israeli vehicles, the army said”

  14. @stogieguy7 – maybe you missed it, but Biden 2020 EVs = same as Trump 2016 (only this time with a net change of 10mm popular votes).

    It’s almost like you ignored 4 Terrible Trump years too, that combined with record turnout, actually delivered a different result than 2016! What a concept.

    And congrats, in believing in and spreading misinformation, you contributed in your own small way to the US Capitol insurrection last week.

  15. I could lavish you with logic, but logic is no longer relevant. So I will just say I feel like this is dumb.

  16. All airlines did after 9/11 …. or you could be adults and just follow the rules, they make announcement 45 min out …. go then.

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