FAA proposes to fine 10 unruly passengers with a total of $ 225.287

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The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has proposed that 10 airline passengers be fined $ 225.287 in civil penalties for undisciplined conduct involving physical assault.

In a press release on November 10, 2021, the FAA said that as of January 1, 2021, it had received more than 100 reports of physical assault on airplanes by passengers. US federal law prohibits passengers from assaulting other passengers or cabin crew on aircraft. 

FAA urges passenger airlines to take more serious measures in a bid to reduce unruly passenger behavior

In September 2021, the FAA urged passenger airlines to take more serious measures in an attempt to reduce the unruly behavior of passengers. Earlier this year, the FAA launched a zero-tolerance campaign as a measure to reduce violent incidents.

The fines collected are part of the FAA's "Zero Tolerance" campaign against unruly passenger behavior. The FAA has no criminal prosecution authority, but has referred cases to the Department of Justice where the evidence supports the criminal review. 

The cases that make up the majority of the $ 225.287 penalties include:

$ 32.000 against a passenger on a Horizon Air flight

  • 32.000 USD against a passenger on a May 18, 2021 Horizon Air flight on the Austin-San Francisco route. The FAA claims that the passenger did not follow the crew's instructions to put on his seat belt. She (being a woman) repeatedly hit and shouted at her husband and son, diverting her flight attendants from their duties. She dumped the garbage in a flight attendant and snatched cakes from a nearby passenger. 

$ 26.787 against a passenger on a Southwest Airlines (LUV) flight

  • 26.787 USD against a passenger on a Southwest Airlines (LUV) flight, dated May 5, 2021, on the route New York - Chicago. The FAA claims that during the descent and despite the crew's instructions to remain seated, the passenger left his seat and tried to enter the cockpit. After returning to his seat, he mistakenly thought that the aircraft was already at the gate and tried to remove his luggage from the compartment above his head. While the aircraft braked during landing, flight attendants tried to keep him immobilized to prevent him from being injured. He started hitting one of his flight attendants, who later needed medical attention. Law enforcement officers met the passenger at the arrival gate. 

$ 25.000 against a passenger who disrupted Southwest Airlines

  • 25.000 USD against a passenger who disrupted the Southwest Airlines flight of February 3, 2021, on the Boston - Chicago route. The FAA claims that the passenger refused the crew's instructions to store their hand luggage in the compartment above the head. After talking to the ground crew and boarding the plane again, the passenger sat down in a seat, held his armrest, shouted loudly and aggressively and used derogatory language and obscene gestures towards the crew members. As he disembarked, he detached himself from the grip of a traveling companion and spat on a crew member. Police intercepted him at the gate. 

$ 24.000 against a passenger on a Southwest Airlines flight

  • 24.000 USD against a passenger on a Southwest Airlines flight, March 28, 2021, on the route New Orleans - Baltimore. The FAA claims that a flight attendant instructed the passenger to comply with the face mask policy. As the flight attendant continued to pick up the garbage, she intentionally elbowed him to the side and kicked him. This behavior was reported to the captain who locked the cockpit and asked law enforcement to intercept the woman at the gate. 

Read: What NOT to do in avion / Don't be an idiot, mitochondrial and insensitive passenger!

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