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Number of Unruly Airline Passenger Reports Surge by Over 700% According to FAA

Number of Unruly Airline Passenger Reports Surge by Over 700% According to FAA

U.S. airlines have reported over 1,300 unruly passenger incidents to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) since February, the agency said on Monday as per a report by Reuters. The FAA would ordinarily deal with just 100 to 150 such reports in any given year but has embarked on a zero-tolerance campaign brought about by disruptive anti-maskers and Trump supporters.

Of the 1,300 reports submitted to the FAA, the agency has so far identified around 260 incidents that will require enforcement action. Under the FAA’s zero-tolerance approach, perpetrators face a maximum civil penalty of $35,000 on top of any criminal sanction that might be brought against rule breakers.

The FAA said it had so far started enforcement action in 20 cases and was preparing to initiate action in a number of other cases. In March, the FAA proposed a $14,500 civil penalty for a jetBlue passenger who refused to wear a face mask and drank his own alcohol.

An anti-masker who assaulted a Delta Air Lines flight attendant on a flight from Miami to Atlanta was recently slapped with a $27,500 civil penalty and in two other cases, offenders were hit with fines of $15,000 and $7,000 respectively.

FAA Administrator Steve Dickson first announced the ‘first strike and you’re out policy’ in December 2020 following several high profile incidents in which Trump supporters disrupted flights to and from Washington DC.

The policy also followed a number of disputes over face masks before a federal face mask mandate came into force.

Dickson said in March that the policy would be extended indefinitely and the agency confirmed last week that the zero-tolerance policy would be enforced until the federal mask mandate had elapsed at the earliest. The Biden administration has extended the mask mandate through to September 13.

On Monday, Dickson said: “We will not tolerate interfering with a flight crew and the performance of their safety duties. Period.”

His comments came just hours after a suspect appeared in a New York court via video link accused of punching a flight attendant over trash collection on a flight from Miami.

View Comments (4)
  • The airlines and FAA have been threatening this for years and few if any offenders get fined or jailed.

  • What a trash take by someone who clearly doesn’t connect the dots as to the increase in ‘unruly passengers’. What else do you expect from people when a tyrannical government takes over and forces things on the people that aren’t backed by science. Show me ONE peer-reviewed study showing masks work. You can’t because it doesn’t exist yet I can show you at least 10 showing how masks don’t work and are actually harmful to those wearing them.

    Regardless of where you stand on masks, which was obvious by your article, this isn’t just Trump supporters. These are AMERICANS from all walks of life who are tired of being told what to do for a virus with a 99.97% survival rate.

    The hypocrisy of people like is that you follow the science when it suits you but not when it supports an opposing stance.

  • You lost me when you referred to the unruly passengers as “Trump Supporters”. Clearly inflammatory and what tends to cause unruliness. I was poked by a American Airlines flight attendant while sleeping because my nose was uncovered when I yawned. I ALMOST popped her out of an unconscious reaction. I stood up and told her there would be a point in her life very soon when she would have to add value to the customer’s experience, instead of walking around like the Covid police jabbing customers. (I had been vaccinated, but she would not have known. No excuse.) I told her to never touch me again. Ironically, I have no doubt that American has figured out they do not need these people. A victim of their own lack of restraint … and I am TOTALLY convinced that most of the increase were reasonable and rational people being bullied by recently empowered weak minded people manning the ship.

    • Hi Ed,

      I 100% agree and my earlier comment to this article shared the same sentiment. I feel that most of these ‘unruly’ passengers who are good people tired of being policed, poked and told what they can/can’t do when we’re all adults and should able to make the decisions best for our own circumstances.

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