An airline passenger who threatened a flight attendant, hit another and tried to open the door of the plane as it was in flight, has been fined nearly $82,000, the largest ever issued, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
The confrontation is one of a growing number of air rage incidents airlines have been reporting to the FAA in the past two years.
The passenger who was on an American Airlines flight traveling from Texas to North Carolina, threatened to hurt a flight attendant after the attendant had offered to help the passenger, who had fallen into the aisle of the plane.
The passenger then allegedly pushed an airline worker and went toward the cabin door, trying to open it.
As flight attendants attempted to restrain her, she repeatedly hit one of the staff members in the head.
“She spit at, headbutted, bit and tried to kick the crew and other passengers,” according to an FAA news release.
The FAA’s Zero Tolerance policy against unruly passenger behavior and its public awareness campaign has decreased the rate of unruly incidents by nearly 60 percent, the press release said.
A passenger on another flight, a Delta flight from Las Vegas to Atlanta, allegedly tried 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,” according to the FAA.
She was eventually restrained by crew members. She has been fined $77,272.
“If you are on an airplane, don’t be a jerk and don’t endanger the flight crews and fellow passengers,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in an appearance on ABC’s The View. “If you do, you will be fined by the FAA,” said Buttigieg, who announced news of the fines on Friday.
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