- The Federal Aviation Administration announced $531,545 in civil penalties against unruly passengers.
- One passenger was fined $45,000 for throwing luggage and sticking his head up an attendant's skirt.
- The latest penalties bring the total for 2021 to more than $1 million, with 4 months remaining.
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Shortly after departure from New York on May 24, a JetBlue passenger allegedly threw his carry-on luggage, lay down in the aisle refusing to get up, then grabbed a flight attendant by the ankles and stuck his head up her skirt.
After the crew was able to restrain him with zip-ties, the plane made an emergency landing in Richmond, Virginia, where he was removed.
He may be fined $45,000, according to the latest announcement of proposed civil penalties released today from the Federal Aviation Administration.
The JetBlue passenger was just one of 34 against whom the FAA proposed fines against on Thursday for a combined total of $531,545, bringing the total for 2021 to more than $1 million.
The FAA report is a litany of the antisocial behavior that flight crews across the country have been tasked with managing during an already difficult year.
Another JetBlue passenger on a cross-country flight allegedly refused to comply with the mask mandate, assaulted several passengers, and snorted "what appeared to be cocaine from a plastic bag" before the flight was diverted to Minneapolis where he was removed by local law enforcement. He received a $42,000 fine.
While the vast majority of incidents were with male passengers, some women behaved badly too. One intentionally bumped into a seated passenger, then punched the passenger in the face when they protested.
Another woman allegedly threw corn nuts at passengers and crew and shoved her middle fingers in the faces of crew members who asked her to stop.
Several passengers received $13,000 fines for incidents that included their refusal to stop drinking alcohol that the airline did not serve them.
On an Alaskan Airlines flight, one man is alleged to have harassed the crew and "acted as though his hand was a gun and made a 'pew, pew' noise as if he was shooting a fellow passenger." He was kicked off the flight and received a $10,000 fine.
Interfering with aircraft crew, is against Federal law, as is physically assaulting or threatening assault crew or anyone else on an aircraft, and penalties can include fines and prison time if found guilty. Passengers have 30 days to respond after the agency notifies them of an enforcement decision.
The FAA says it has received nearly 4,000 reports of unruly behavior by passengers, including nearly 3,000 passengers refusing to properly wear a mask.
Flight attendants from several major US carriers previously told Insider's Allana Akhtar they have experienced increased levels of aggression from passengers this year. Others report having been punched, groped, spat at, and verbally abused by passengers for simply doing their jobs.