FAA Has Received Over 4,000 Reports of Unruly Behavior this Year
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) investigates unruly-passenger incidents that airline crews report to the agency. While last year we saw a small increase in the number of incidents even though air travel was at its lowest in decades. this year has been off the charts. The FAA has levied well over $1 million in fines as well against “unruly” passengers since January 1st.
The FAA has received about 4,090 reports of unruly behavior since Jan. 1, nearly three-fourths of which (2,999) were passengers who allegedly refused to comply with the federal face mask mandate in airports and on airplanes, which has now been extended through Jan. 18. 747 investigations have been initiated by the agency so far this year. However, the agency lacks the authority to pursue criminal charges.
As part of the FAA’s Reauthorization Bill (PDF) FAA can propose up to $37,000 per violation for unruly passenger cases. Previously, the maximum civil penalty per violation was $25,000. One incident can result in multiple violations.