Story at a glance

  • The FAA released new numbers on unruly passenger behavioral incidents.
  • More than $100,000 in fines have been levied against violators.
  • These numbers are largely driven by breaks in COVID-19 protocol.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is continuing to report an uptick in unruly airline passenger behavior, releasing new numbers showcasing a total of 3,509 reports of problematic passenger behaviors this year.

More than half of these incidents — totaling 2,605 — were related to wearing masks. 



A separate statement was issued by the FAA saying that about $119,000 in fines have been levied against passengers for violations of federal law. One notable incident occurred when more than $21,000 was levied against a passenger who refused to wear a mask and stop drinking alcohol aboard a flight. 

Out of these, 581 incidents are being actively investigated.

“Federal Aviation Regulations...state that ‘no person may assault, threaten, intimidate, or interfere with a crewmember in the performance of the crewmember's duties aboard an aircraft being operated,’” the FAA Unruly Passengers page reads.

Reporting these numbers is part of the FAA’s new Zero Tolerance campaign that aims to promote respectful passenger behavior as travel begins to reopen and airlines are requiring all passengers and crew members to don masks during the flight. 

Published on Jul 21, 2021