Ten passengers have been fined a total of $ 225,287 for allegedly unruly behavior on flights, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
The agency announced the civil penalties in a press release on Wednesday, outlining 10 new cases in which passengers pushed flight attendants, used explosives, threw seizures and refused to comply with the FAA requirement for face masks.
A woman traveling on a Horizon Air plane from Austin, Texas, to San Francisco, California, ignored the crew’s instructions to fasten her seat belt on May 18, beating and shouting at her husband and son, throwing rubbish at a flight attendant and snatching cookies from a nearby passenger, the FAA said. She risks a $ 32,000 fine.
A woman flying with American Airlines on January 21[ads1] from Tampa, Florida, to Miami, was fined $ 24,000 after she allegedly failed to wear a face mask and became disruptive to her travel companions. On the way out of the plane, the authorities said that she physically attacked the flight attendant by pushing her in the chest.
A man who flew JetBlue Airlines from Newark, New Jersey, to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on November 7, 2020, was fined $ 17,500 after allegedly using profane language and physically assaulting a flight crew member. Authorities said he yelled at a crew member and pushed him. The captain of the plane ended up redirecting the plane to Richmond, Virginia, and police met the passenger at the gate.
Other issues highlighted in the release include a woman accused of spitting at a crew member on a Southwest Airlines flight on February 3 from Boston to Chicago and a man trying to enter the cockpit of a flight from New York City to Chicago 5. May.
So far this year, the FAA has documented 5,114 reports of unruly passengers and 3,710 reports of refusing to wear a face mask. The agency says that 239 cases have been met with penalties.
Of this year’s unruly reports, more than 100 passenger disruptions involved physical abuse, according to the press release. It is illegal to attack fellow passengers or crew on board an aircraft.
The number of unregulated passenger incidents skyrocketed after the introduction of the mask mandate on planes, airports and public transport on February 1, which is expected to last until January 18, according to the Transportation Security Administration.
The FAA said that although the number of unregulated passenger incidents on commercial flights has dropped dramatically since the launch of its Zero Tolerance campaign, which was launched in January 2021, the frequency is “still too high.”
The guidelines allow the agency to take law enforcement action against passengers who assault, threaten, intimidate or interfere with the airline’s crew members.
Although the FAA does not have criminal prosecution, it can impose fines and has referred cases to the Ministry of Justice “where the evidence supports criminal justice assessment”, the press release states.
Several rowdy plane incidents have made headlines this year.
An American Airlines flight attendant suffered a concussion in October after a passenger allegedly hit her in the face during a flight from New York to California, which caused the pilot to move to Colorado.
In September, a man from Las Vegas traveling from California to Utah was quoted by police for public intoxication and disorderly conduct after pointing and shouting at people and shouting “Joe Biden” on an American plane. In August, the FAA fined a passenger on a JetBlue flight from New York to Orlando for allegedly throwing objects at other passengers and grabbing a flight attendant by the ankles and putting her head up in her skirt.