The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration has proposed the largest fines ever against two passengers for alleged unruly behavior.
According to the FAA, the fines of $81,950 and $77,272, respectively, are part of the approximately $2 million the agency has proposed since Jan. 1, 2022.
"If you are on an airplane, don't be a jerk and don't endanger the flight crews and fellow passengers," U.S. Transportation Sec. Pete Buttigieg told THE VIEW today when he announced the fines. "If you do, you will be fined by the FAA."
The FAA said the $81,950-fine involves a passenger on a July 7, 2021, American Airlines flight from Dallas-Fort Worth to Charlotte, N.C.
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The FAA alleged 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, the FAA said.
According to the FAA, two flight attendants tried to restrain the passenger, but she repeatedly hit one of the flight attendants on the head.
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After the passenger was restrained in flex cuffs, the FAA said she spit at, headbutted, bit, and tried to kick the crew and other passengers. Law enforcement apprehended her in Charlotte.
The FAA said the $77,272-fine involves a passenger on a July 16, 2021, Delta Air Lines flight from Las Vegas to Atlanta.
The FAA said the passenger attempted to hug and kiss the passenger seated next to her, walked to the front of the aircraft to try to exit during flight, refused to return to her seat, and bit another passenger multiple times.
The crew had to physically restrain her, the FAA said.
According to the FAA, the department's "Zero Tolerance" policy against unruly passenger behavior and its public awareness campaign has decreased the rate of unruly incidents by nearly 60%.
Federal law prohibits interfering with aircraft crew or physically assaulting or threatening to physically assault aircraft crew or anyone else on an aircraft.
The FAA said passengers are subject to civil penalties for such misconduct, which can threaten the safety of the flight by disrupting or distracting cabin crew from their safety duties.
Federal law also provides for criminal fines and imprisonment of passengers who interfere with the performance of a crewmember's duties by assaulting or intimidating that crewmember, the FAA said.