US FAA exceeds $ 1 million in fines proposed for disruptive air passengers

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Aviation Administration said Thursday it was proposing $ 531,545 in civil penalties against 34 airline passengers for unruly behavior, bringing its total for the year to more than $ 1 million.

The United States has seen a significant increase in reported cases of passengers causing disruptions on planes. Many videos of clashes have attracted the attention of the general public on social networks.

Since January 1, the FAA has received 3,889 reports of unruly passengers, including 2,867 reports of people refusing to comply with the US federal mandate on face masks.

In total, the FAA has proposed more than $ 1 million in fines this year for unruly passengers.

On Tuesday, the Transportation Security Administration said it would extend existing mask requirements for airports, planes, trains and transit hubs until January 18.

This month, FAA Administrator Steve Dickson called on U.S. airports to help tackle disruptive air passengers. In March, he indefinitely extended a “zero tolerance policy” on unruly air passengers.

Dickson noted that alcohol often contributes to unsafe behavior and urged airports to prevent passengers from consuming alcoholic beverages on planes.

Among the new FAA fines announced Thursday:

* $ 45,000 against a JetBlue passenger flying from New York to Florida in May, for throwing objects, “including his hand luggage, at other passengers; refusing to remain seated; lying on the ground in the gone, refusing to get up, and then grabbing a flight attendant by the ankles and tucking her head up her skirt. ” The passenger was handcuffed and the flight made an emergency landing in Virginia.

* $ 42,000 against a JetBlue passenger on a May flight from New York to San Francisco, for failing to comply with the face mask mandate and other inappropriate behavior, including “stabbing certain passengers; and sniffing what appeared to be cocaine in a plastic bag, which cabin crew confiscated.The flight was rerouted to Minneapolis, where police removed the passenger.

* $ 30,000 against a Frontier Airlines passenger on a January flight from Atlanta to New York who, upon disembarking, “attempted to enter the flight deck by physically assaulting two flight attendants, threatening to kill the flight attendant. ‘one of them and asking them to open the door. “

(Reporting by David Shepardson. Editing by Gerry Doyle)

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