Unruly passenger investigations explode in 2021, FAA numbers show

National News

(Federal Aviation Administration)

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Federal Aviation Administration has initiated 682 investigations related to unruly passengers so far this year — more than double the yearly total anytime over the past 25 years.

The 682 investigations come as the FAA deals with 3,889 unruly passenger reports since the start of the year. The majority of those incidents — 2,867 cases — involved mask-related incidents.

The FAA has initiated 120 enforcement actions against offenders this year.

Passengers must follow FAA regulations against disruptive behavior, and the agency has initiated a public awareness campaign — including a YouTube video that shows children talking about how to behave on a flight:

“Even children know it’s not safe to disrupt a flight,” the video says.

“The repercussions for passengers who engage in unruly behavior can be substantial,” according to the FAA. “They can be fined by the FAA or prosecuted on criminal charges.”

Fines as high as $37,000 — per violation — can be assessed.

A more detailed look at the numbers is posted on the FAA’s website.

The previous peak in the number of investigations occurred in 2004, when 310 investigations were initiated over the course of the entire year.

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