The FAA is cracking down on unruly passengers following the Capitol riots, threatening to take legal action against anyone violent or threatening

American Airlines pilots

Summary List Placement

Federal officials tightened restrictions on unruly airline passengers following several disruptive incidents on flights in and out of Washington, DC last week. 

Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Steve Dickson signed an order Wednesday directing the agency to hand down stricter penalties to passengers who assault, threaten, intimidate, or interfere with crew members. 

“The FAA has seen a disturbing increase in incidents where airline passengers have disrupted flights with threatening or violent behavior,” the agency said in a statement. “These incidents have stemmed both from passengers’ refusals to wear masks and from recent violence at the US Capitol.”

Per Dickson’s order, the agency will no longer issue warnings or civil penalties to passengers who refuse to wear face masks or are hostile toward crew members. Instead, the FAA will “pursue legal enforcement action against any passenger who assaults, threatens, intimidates, or interferes with airline crew members.”

Punishments may include fines of up to $35,000 or imprisonment, the FAA said. The new policy will remain in effect through March 30. 

Read more: Moody’s says COVID-19 relief for airport stores and restaurants may help the air travel sector survive, but the outlook remains bleak

In the lead up to and in the wake of the January 6 pro-Trump rally-turned-riot in Washington, DC there have been numerous reports and videos of the president’s supporters acting belligerently toward airline crew, fellow travelers, and members of Congress. 

Passengers on an American Airlines flight from Washington to Phoenix on Friday began chanting “USA,” leading the pilot to threaten to “put this plane down in the middle of Kansas and dump people off.” One video that depicted the president’s supporters berating South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham went viral.

Utah Senator Mitt Romney was also accosted repeatedly both while waiting for a flight and aboard an airplane. Some of President Trump’s supporters harassed Romney for not supporting the president’s attempt to overturn the results of the November election. 

In light of incidents like these, airlines have taken action by banning unruly passengers and ramping up safety efforts.

American Airlines said it would stop serving alcohol on flights to the District for the time being, while Alaska Airlines reported banning 14 rowdy passengers on a single flight from Washington to Seattle the day after the rally. 

SEE ALSO: Newly-minted unicorn startup Boom Supersonic’s bid to relax testing rules has been spiked by the FAA, making it harder to bring faster-than-sound flight to the masses

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: How waste is dealt with on the world’s largest cruise ship

…read more

Source:: Business Insider


(Visited 8 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *