FAA reports nearly 100 cases of unruly airline passengers in past week | TheHill

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The Hill 21 July, 2021 - 08:48am 5 views

According to updated numbers released by the FAA on Tuesday, there have now been 3,509 unruly passenger reports thus far in 2021, with the majority of the reported incidents, 2,605, related to noncompliance with the federal mask mandate that remains in place for flights and public transit. 

So far in 2021, there have been 581 investigations initiated into unruly passenger incidents. 

Comparatively, the FAA launched only 183 investigations in 2020, and 146 the year before. 

Earlier this month, the FAA said it had issued a $10,500 fine to a passenger who refused to wear a mask during a February flight. 

The nine passengers received a total of $119,000 in fines, with individual penalties ranging from $7,500 to $21,500. 

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has also reported a similar surge in unruly behavior among passengers passing through security lines at airports. 

Darby LaJoye, TSA’s acting administrator, said during a House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation and Maritime Security hearing Tuesday that there have been more than 85 reported physical assaults against TSA officers since the start of the pandemic last year. 

LaJoye explained that 25 of the assaults have been reported just since the end of May, including one in Denver last month in which a passenger allegedly bit two TSA officers. 

The TSA last month announced plans to resume its crew member self-defense training in early July after it was previously postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

LaJoye said in a statement at the time, “While it is our hope that flight crew members never have need for these tactics, it is critical to everyone’s safety that they be well-prepared to handle situations as they arise.” 

“Passengers do not arrive at an airport or board a plane with the intent of becoming unruly or violent,” he explained. “However, what is an exciting return to travel for some may be a more difficult experience for others, which can lead to unexpected, and unacceptable, behaviors.”

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US flights report more than 3,000 unruly passengers this year, many for not wearing masks

The Hill 21 July, 2021 - 08:01pm

A separate statement was issued by the FAA saying that about $119,000 in fines have been levied against passengers for violations of federal law. One notable incident occurred when more than $21,000 was levied against a passenger who refused to wear a mask and stop drinking alcohol aboard a flight. 

FAA Reports Dozens of Unruly Passenger Incidents in Last Week

TravelPulse 21 July, 2021 - 08:01pm

Airlines & Airports Patrick Clarke July 21, 2021

The trend of airline passengers misbehaving doesn't appear to be coming to an end anytime soon.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has reported an uptick in incidents, recording almost 100 cases of unruly airline passengers in the past week alone as more travelers return to the sky.

Updated data released on Tuesday show that there have been a total of 3,509 unruly passenger reports in 2021. That's nearly 240 more reports compared to two weeks ago on July 6. The vast majority of incidents (2,605) continue to be related to passengers refusing to comply with the federal mask mandate amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of the more than 3,500 reports so far this year, investigations have been launched into 581. That figure is significant considering that the FAA launched just 183 investigations in 2020 and only 146 in 2019.

The FAA warns that, under federal law, "no person may assault, threaten, intimidate, or interfere with a crew member in the performance of the crewmember's duties aboard an aircraft being operated." The agency can propose up to $37,000 per violation for unruly passenger cases, up from the previous maximum civil penalty per violation of $25,000. One incident can result in multiple violations.

Earlier this month, the FAA issued $119,000 in civil penalties against nine passengers for alleged violations of federal regulations against unruly behavior, with most of the incidents involving individuals being intoxicated and or refusing to properly wear a face mask.

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American Airlines employee tells irate woman to take another airline

Daily Mail 21 July, 2021 - 04:18pm

By Matt Mcnulty For Dailymail.Com

A tense exchange between an American Airlines employee and a disruptive traveler was captured on video then posted to TikTok Tuesday - another in an ongoing slew of recent unruly air passenger incidents. 

In an apparent recent dispute at DFW International Airport in Dallas over wearing a mask on a flight, a passenger insulted an airline worker, calling the woman 'a b***h.'.  

A gate attendant interjected: 'You can find another airline to fly, I'd suggest (taking) Spirit (airlines)'. 

He tells the unidentified woman in the video, the comments were 'totally uncalled for, totally inappropriate, we don't tolerate that crap.' 

When the woman attempts to deny her use of profanity, he says, ''Don't lie. You already did that once, when you took your mask off and put it in your pocket.'

'If you don't follow procedure, it's end of discussion,' he tersely added, before turning her away from the gate.  

'You can find another airline to fly, I'd suggest (taking) Spirit (airlines)' the employee told the unidentified woman, who had just previously called his co-worked 'a b***h'

'Don't lie,' the airline worker told the woman when she attempted to deny her use of profanity. 'You already did that once, when you took your mask off and put it in your pocket'

Tuesday's scene has become an unfortunately familiar one for most airline workers, with the Federal Aviation Administration reporting nearly 100 cases of unruly airline passengers in the past week alone. 

According to updated figures released by the FAA Tuesday, there have been 3,509 unruly passenger reports in 2021. The majority of the reported incidents - 2,605 to be exact - are related to 'noncompliance with the federal mask mandate that remains in place for flights and public transit.' 

Meanwhile, out of those reports, 581 investigations were initiated into the incidents. Of those investigations, 87 resulted in some kind of penalty. 

The FAA launched just 183 investigations last year, and only 146 in 2019.  

The FAA states that out of 3,509 unruly passenger reports, 2,605 were mask-related with 581 investigations initiated into unruly passenger reports so far this year

Under federal law, no passenger may 'assault, threaten, intimidate, or interfere with a crew member in the performance of the crew member's duties aboard an aircraft being operated.'  

The FAA also may impose fines up to $37,000 per violation in unruly passenger cases. 

The Hill reports that the agency issued a $10,500 fine to a passenger who refused to wear a mask onboard earlier this month.

The FAA issued a $10,500 fine to a passenger who refused to wear a mask onboard earlier this month.

The July 8 report said another eight passengers either refused to wear a face mask, consumed alcohol they brought onto the plane, or assaulted passengers or flight crew members.

Combined, those nine passengers received a total of $119,000 in fines.

Darby LaJoye, Transportation Security Administration acting administrator, said Tuesday that there had been more than 85 reported physical assaults against TSA agents since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year. Twenty-five of the assaults have been reported since the end of May alone.  

'Passengers do not arrive at an airport or board a plane with the intent of becoming unruly or violent,” LaJoye said in a statement. “However, what is an exciting return to travel for some may be a more difficult experience for others, which can lead to unexpected, and unacceptable, behaviors.'

In response to ongoing reports and incidents of unruly passengers, including one last month where a man bit two TSA officers in Denver, the TSA announced plans to resume self-defense training in early July. It had been postponed in the coronavirus pandemic last March. 

It was not clear whether or not the woman from Tuesday's TikTok video received any kind of fine or punishment. 

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‘I’d suggest Spirit:’ Stoic DFW American Airlines agent bars cursing woman from flight

The Dallas Morning News 21 July, 2021 - 03:11pm

3:11 PM on Jul 21, 2021 CDT

The unnamed American Airlines employee at DFW International Airport’s Terminal D is drawing praise on Twitter and other social media channels for the way he handled a woman who allegedly called a flight attendant an inappropriate name during an interaction after a dispute over masks.

“Second of all, you called my employee a b****, completely uncalled for and inappropriate,” the agent said. “We don’t tolerate that crap with us at all.

So this lady got kicked off the plane for calling an attendant "bitch". He also told her "you're ko longer allowed to fly with American. I suggest you try Spirit" 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/d8D4psClOt

“You can find another carrier to fly,” he continued. “I’d suggest Spirit.”

The incident took place on July 17 on a flight from DFW Airport to Miami. According to fellow passenger Christopher Freeman, a flight attendant had questioned the woman about her mask, which had holes in it. Freeman captured the video Sunday as the plane was being reboarded after a delay.

Fort Worth-based American didn’t provide details on the incident but did provide a statement.

“We expect our customers to comply with our policies and treat everyone with respect when they choose to travel with us, and we take action when that is not the case,” said a statement from an American Airlines spokesperson.

Since the beginning of the year, the FAA has received at least 2,475 complaints about passengers refusing to wear masks, part of an extreme escalation in unruly behavior coming out of the pandemic.

Flight attendants have complained about being referees for obstinant passengers who refuse to wear masks or take them off during flights.

According to the gate agent in the video, the flight attendant and witnesses say that when questioned about her mask, the woman called the flight attendant the expletive. Shortly afterward, she was escorted off the plane by the American Airlines employee.

The woman pleaded with the American Airlines employee to get back on the flight, but she was denied.

The American Airlines employee says the woman took off her mask after being told to wear it. American and other airlines have a policy requiring passengers to wear masks, and the Biden Administration has mandated masks on planes as well.

“If you don’t want to follow the federal mask mandate and then call my employee a vulgar name, it’s not going to happen,” he said as he denied the woman boarding.

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2,600 Airline Passengers Became ‘Unruly’ In Mask-Related Incidents This Year, FAA Says

Daily Caller 21 July, 2021 - 11:55am

There have now been 3,509 unruly passenger reports, with 2,605 relating to noncompliance with the federal mask mandate that remains in place for flights and public transit, according to the agency. The agency describes “unruly” as threatening or violent behavior.

FAA Administrator Steve Dickson signed in January a zero-tolerance order putting stricter legal enforcement policy against passengers that could lead to fines and jail time.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) asked travelers to be calm and respectful at security checkpoints after multiple incidents, including a passenger allegedly biting two TSA officers earlier in June.

The FAA said they have 581 investigations initiated into incidents and 87 enforcement cases in 2021 so far. (RELATED: ‘We Have Lost Our Ever-Loving Minds’: Airline Draws Big Rebukes For Family Kicked Off Plane Over Child Not Wearing Mask)

“Passengers do not arrive at an airport or board a plane with the intent of becoming unruly or violent; however, what is an exciting return to travel for some may be a more difficult experience for others, which can lead to unexpected, and unacceptable, behaviors,” said TSA Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Administrator Darby LaJoye in a statement in June. “We appreciate our continued partnership and coordination with the FAA and stand together in a unified position of zero-tolerance with respect to attacks against our employees.”

Travelers were warned in February if they violate the federal transportation face mask mandate could receive between $250 to as much as $1500 in fines for repeat offenders.

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Spike in air rage incidents, majority involve passengers' refusal of mask mandate

WPVI-TV 21 July, 2021 - 10:27am

Spike in air rage incidents, most involve mask disputes

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