The Federal Aviation Administration said its “zero tolerance” policy for dealing with unruly passengers will become permanent.
“Dangerous behavior on an airplane will cost you; that’s a promise,” Acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen said in a statement Wednesday.
“There’s just nothing wrong with unsafe behavior, and adhering to our zero tolerance policy will help us make further progress in preventing and punishing that behavior,” he added.
The agency implemented the policy on January 13, 2021 after noting a worrying spike in recalcitrant incidents involving passengers.
Under the policy, the FAA issues fines to misbehaving passengers in lieu of warning letters or advice.
“The zero-tolerance policy, along with the agency’s public awareness campaign, has helped reduce the incident rate by more than 60 percent. The FAA will continue to work with its airline, labor, airport, security and law enforcement partners to continue reducing the number of incidents,” the agency said.
On February 16, the FAA referred 80 cases of unruly passengers to the FBI for criminal review.
The agency also said it is working with the Transportation Security Administration to revoke TSA PreCheck for unruly passengers who are fined by the FAA.
The rule was imposed as airlines grappled with numerous headline-making outbursts from passengers about mask requirements.
But on Wednesday, the Justice Department filed a notice that it will appeal a federal judge’s order in Florida striking down the policy requiring plane and train passengers to wear masks.
The appeal was filed in federal court in Tampa at the behest of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and ended 48 hours of uncertainty after federal officials stopped enforcing the rule late Monday.
President Biden said Tuesday “that’s up to them” when asked whether people should continue to wear masks on airplanes.
As of January 2021, the agency has proposed about $7 million in fines for disruptive passengers.
Two new fines imposed this month were the highest yet, including an $81,950 fine for a woman who was taped to her seat on board an American Airlines plane after allegedly assaulting the crew and tried to open the door mid-flight.
The passenger launched viral video disgrace when she was handcuffed to her seat on July 6, 2021 on Flight 1774 from Dallas to Charlotte, North Carolina.
The FAA also proposed a fine of $77,272 – the second highest ever – against a woman aboard a Delta flight from Las Vegas to Atlanta on July 16, 2021.
The agency said she tried to “hug and kiss” another passenger, tried to exit the plane mid-flight, and bit another airman multiple times before the crew restrained her.
The two fines are part of about $2 million in penalties the FAA has proposed so far this year.
Passengers have 30 days after receiving the letter from the FAA to respond to the agency, which said its zero-tolerance policy on unruly behavior and its public awareness campaign have reduced such cases by nearly 60 percent.
https://nypost.com/2022/04/21/faa-makes-zero-tolerance-policy-for-unruly-passengers-permanent/ The FAA is making permanent the “zero tolerance” policy for unruly passengers