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Unruly passengers on flights could face fines and other consequences — but it’s not clear how many reports lead to punishment.

The rapid rise in the number of unruly, disruptive, or downright violent passengers on board aircraft has been a hot topic in the aviation industry.

and the number of incidents Was – and still is – alarming. mobile video Filmed by other passengers include fights on board flights, flight attendants being beaten, other passengers being beaten, criminals often duct-taped to seats, law enforcement officers are escorting from an airplane. Many accidents cause flights to be diverted.

In 2021, the number of these incidents exceeded 6,000. In 2022, that number has dropped, but it’s still more than ten times what he was decades ago. In 1995, he had 146 reports of unruly passengers. So far in 2022, The Federal Aviation Administration has received 1,944 reports.

According to federal regulations, it is a violation of federal law to “assault, threaten, intimidate, or interfere with a crew member in the performance of their duties aboard an aircraft in service.”

Historically, the FAA has closed these cases with law enforcement action. civil penalties; administrative actions that are warning notices. Counseling compliance action, or no action if there is insufficient evidence of non-compliance with regulations or federal law. However, under the FAA’s current zero-tolerance policy for unruly passengers, which took effect in 2021, agencies have not issued warning notices or counseling orders.

As part of its latest reauthorization in 2018, the FAA can offer up to $37,000 per violation for unruly passenger cases. Previously, the maximum civil penalty per violation was $25,000. A single incident can lead to multiple violations.

To date in 2022, the Federal Aviation Administration has received nearly 2,000 reports of unruly passengers.

CBS news

Of these reports, 673 were investigated by authorities and enforcement actions were initiated in 460. But despite the apparent violations of the law by passengers, both government officials and industry sources told his CBS News that few passengers were actually arrested, and even fewer were fined or imprisoned. rice field.

The key word here is “suggestion”. According to sources, in almost all cases,, The full amount of proposed FAA fines is never paid, and in many cases no fines are paid at all.

Of course, there are exceptions.

A New York woman was sentenced to four months in prison after a pilot diverted her plane to Phoenix after she got into an altercation for using racist slurs during a flight to Los Angeles.

Kelly Pichardo, 32, of the Bronx, New York, was sentenced to four months in prison and 36 months of supervised release after pleading guilty to the following crimes: Interference with crew member. She was ordered to pay American Airlines her $9,123 compensation.

In another case, 29-year-old Vyvianna M. Quinonez of Sacramento have to pay About $26,000 in damages and a $7,500 fine for attacking on board. She punched a Southwest Airlines flight attendant, bloodied his face and shaved off three teeth. Quinones was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison.

And in April, the FAA proposed Biggest fine ever$81,950 from a female passenger who had to be duct taped to her seat on an American Airlines flight to Charlotte in July 2021. Her lawsuit is still pending.

In 2021 and 2022, many airlines, including United and Delta, have announced they will ban unruly passengers from flying because of their behavior. The announcement speculated that the ban would last for life.

But by April, when federal mask mandates were lifted, those airlines were quietly inviting passengers into the friendly skies.

Delta said it would be in April Restoration of flight privileges To customers who have indicated that they “understand the behavior expected of them when using us.” This new exemption policy applies to passengers who have been banned for “mask non-compliance”. Delta’s announcement came a day after United made a similar announcement. American Airlines and Alaska Airlines followed suit.

That’s about it for the permanent no-fly list, but passengers who engage in violent behavior are still on the airline’s list, which is different from the federal government’s terrorism watch no-fly list.

And how many people are still on those lists, Do airlines share names among themselves? Nobody knows.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/unruly-passengers-faa-reports-unclear-how-many-result-fines-sentences/ Unruly passengers on flights could face fines and other consequences — but it’s not clear how many reports lead to punishment.

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