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FAA Proposes The Largest Fines Ever Against Two Passengers For Unruly Behavior In 2021
As Travel Noire has reported over the past few years, the number of cases involving unruly passengers has skyrocketed and it can be seen all over the country. Things have only gotten worse after the resumption of flights suspended by the pandemic.
The Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced it proposed the largest fines ever against two passengers for alleged unruly behavior. The fines of $81,950 and $77,272, respectively, are part of the approximately $2 million the agency has proposed since Jan. 1, 2022, the agency said.
“If you are on an airplane, don’t be a jerk and don’t endanger the flight crews and fellow passengers. If you do, you will be fined by the FAA,” U.S. Transportation Sec. Pete Buttigieg told THE VIEW when he announced the fines.
The two incidents that led to the largest fines ever against two passengers, however, were not related to Covid safety measures disobedience in flights.
According to the FAA, the highest $81,950-fine has was issued against a passenger who threatened to hurt a flight attendant during an American Airlines flight from Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, to Charlotte, N.C, on July 07, 2021, after the employee offered help to the passenger after she fell into the aisle.
“The passenger then pushed the flight attendant aside and tried to open the cabin door. Two flight attendants tried to restrain the passenger, but she repeatedly hit one of the flight attendants on the head,” the FAA said in a press release. The institution added that even restrained in flex cuffs, she spit at the flight attendant, headbutted, bit and tried to kick the crew and other passengers. The unruly female traveler was detained by law enforcement in Charlotte.
The other situation involving a passenger who was fined $77,272 occurred on July 16, 2021. It was another female traveler who tried to hug and kiss the passenger seated next to her on a Delta Air Lines flight from Las Vegas to Atlanta. After the harassment, she headed to the front of the aircraft to try to exit the plane. The crew intervened asking the passenger to return to her seat. Not only did she refuse, but she also bit another passenger multiple times. The crew had to physically restrain the disruptive female passenger.
The FAA has not announced the name of the women.
The passengers were charged under the federal law that prohibits interfering with aircraft crew or physically assaulting or threatening to physically assault aircraft crew or anyone else on an aircraft, being subject to civil penalties for such behavior as imprisonment for interfering with the performance of a crewmember’s duties by assaulting or intimidating that crewmember, FAA said.
The passengers have 30 days after receiving the FAA’s letter to respond to the agency.