FAA cracking down on unruly passengers with hefty fines

Since January, the FAA has received roughly 3,000 reports of unruly passengers onboard planes. It’s become a safety hazard, putting flight attendants and even other passengers in harm’s way. 

So, the FAA has said enough is enough and will be increasing fines for those passengers who break the rules. 

Unruly passengers could now face costly fines totaling up to $35,000 dollars. This is all due to the stricter Unruly Passenger Policy that the FAA put into effect earlier this year following disturbing and disruptive incidents onboard. 

The FAA is making good on its word as there are now several airline passengers that the FAA has proposed hefty fines against, anywhere from $9,000 to $15,000 for interfering with or assaulting a flight attendant. 

Disturbance on Southwest Airlines Flight 700 at the San Diego International Airport. (Taro Arai)

RELATED: Photos show Southwest Airlines flight attendant pummeled by passenger

Since January, the number of passengers reported for not following the rules is 20 times more than it would be during a typical year. 

Experts reported that number was already going up pre-pandemic, but after COVID hit, it only got worse. Flight attendants have now become tasked with making sure uncooperative passengers wear their masks. 

READ: Delta crew, passengers detain unruly man, prompting emergency landing

Of the roughly 3,000 reports of unruly passengers, 2,300 were due to passengers refusing to comply with mask requirements.

The FAA hopes that by stiffening these penalties, passengers might think twice before acting out onboard. Beyond fines, unruly passengers could face jail time or even lose their flight privileges.