FAA proposes combined $159K fine – the most ever – against two unruly passengers

FILE – In this Feb. 18, 2021 file photo, a passenger wears a face mask to help prevent the spread of the new coronavirus as he waits for a Delta Airlines flight at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta. Federal officials are seeking fines against 34 more airline passengers accused of unruly behavior, bringing the total of such penalties to more than $1 million this year. The Federal Aviation Administration said Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021 that the latest fines — which people can challenge — are part of its crackdown against incidents on planes, most of them involving passengers who refuse to wear face masks. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, file)

(NEXSTAR) – Two airline passengers accused of assaulting crew members and fellow passengers face two of the largest fines ever proposed, the Federal Aviation Administration announced Friday.

The FAA said it will levy penalties of $81,950 and $77,272, respectively, against the unnamed passengers.

The first passenger was flying from Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, to Charlotte, North Carolina on July 7, 2021 when the FAA says the woman fell while she was out of her seat during the flight. She then allegedly threatened to hurt a flight attendant who offered help, shoved the flight attendant aside and tried to open the cabin door.

When two other flight attendants tried to restrain her, she allegedly struck one on the head repeatedly. The crew managed to get her in zip-tie style restraints, but the woman “spit at, headbutted, bit and tried to kick the crew and other passengers,” the FAA said. Officers arrested her after the plane landed in Charlotte.

Another female passenger, who faces a $77,272 fine, was flying Delta from Las Vegas to Atlanta on July 16, 2021 when the FAA says she tried to hug and kiss the passenger next to her. She’s also accused of walking to the front of the aircraft and trying to leave the airplane mid-flight.

The crew had to restrain her after she allegedly bit another passenger multiple times.

“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 Friday.

The passengers must respond within 30 days after receiving the FAA’s letter.

The fines are part of the roughly $2 million in proposed penalties the FAA announced Jan. 1.


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