The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has proposed another round of fines to unruly passengers, bringing its total for 2021 to a cool US$1 million ($1,367,195).
The latest spate of fines added up to US$531,545 in civil penalties against 34 passengers for alleged unruly behaviour.
According to the FAA, the 34 new fines were part of its ‘Zero Tolerance’ campaign against bad passenger behaviour.
The highest fine proposal was for just over $61,000, against a passenger who allegedly threw objects around the cabin, including his carry-on luggage, refused to stay seated, laying on the floor in the aisle and putting his head up a flight attendant’s skirt.
Another proposed fine for $57,422 was in relation to an incident reported by Travel Weekly in May concerning an anti-masker who allegedly snorted cocaine midflight and sexually harassed other passengers.
Earlier in August, the FAA sent a letter to airports asking them to coordinate more closely with local law enforcement to prosecute particularly bad cases.
The letter also requested that airports work to prevent passengers from bringing “to-go” cups of alcohol on flights.
Since the beginning of this year, the FAA has clocked 3,889 reports of disruptive passengers, with a majority (2,867) handed out to passengers who refused to comply with the country’s mask mandate.
The number of unruly passenger reports in the US has skyrocketed since the beginning of the global pandemic.
In 2020 recorded 693 incidents, almost four times less than this year.
The year before, in 2019, it only recorded 183.
The comes off the back of an uncanny number of reported airline incidents involving passengers being duct-taped to their seats.
In July, a man was restrained to his seat using the tape on a Frontier flight from Philadelphia to Miami.
Just das before this incident, footage emerged of an American Airlines flight attendant seeming to tape an 11-year-old child to a seat during a flight from Maui to Los Angeles.
A witness suggested the child may have had a “developmental disability”.
Earlier in July, on another American Airlines flight, footage of a woman duct-taped to her seat surfaced on TikTok.
The airline said the woman had tried to open the forward boarding door and “physically assaulted, bit and caused injury to a flight attendant”.
The frequency of the incidents prompted comedian and YouTuber James Bates, also known as The Real Spark, to create a parody video where he pretended to be a flight attendant telling a news report about his ordeal taping a passenger to a seat.
Featured image source: iStock/yacobchuk