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FAA issues record-high fines against two ‘unruly’ passengers

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The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposed the largest-ever 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. 1st, 2022.

“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 $81,950-fine involves a passenger on a July 7, 2021, American Airlines flight from Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, to Charlotte, N.C. The FAA alleges the passenger threatened to hurt the flight attendant that 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. After the passenger was restrained in flex cuffs, she spit at, headbutted, bit and tried to kick the crew and other passengers. Law enforcement apprehended her in Charlotte.  

In 2020, the FAA opened 183 investigations into unruly passengers. At the end of 2021, that number had increased to 1,113 unruly passenger investigations; so far this year, the FAA has opened 309 such investigations. 

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