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FAA fines DFW passenger $23,000 for striking flight attendant

An American Airlines plane is seen in mid-flight
The FAA has issued fines totaling $225,287 for alleged unruly behavior involving physical assault.

The Federal Aviation Administration levied 10 fines yesterday for alleged unruly behavior. Of those, three incidents occurred on American Airlines flights and three on Southwest Airlines. Despite a general decline since January, the FAA is reporting a still-high rate unruly passengers.

The FAA announced fines totaling more than $225,000 against 10 airline passengers for alleged unruly behavior that involved physical assault. One of those passengers came from DFW International Airport.

On March 11, a passenger on an American Airlines flight from DFW to Aspen, Colorado, reportedly verbally abused and struck a flight attendant. The passenger, upset that her seat would not recline, switched seats with another passenger but also refused to comply with the face mask policy. She was met by law enforcement at the gate. Her fine is $23,000.

The other fines include:

  • $32,000 against a passenger on a May 18 Horizon Air flight from Austin to San Francisco. A woman allegedly punched and screamed at her husband and son after not following crew instruction to fasten her seatbelt.
  • $20,000 against a passenger on a Jan. 4 Delta Air Lines flight from New York to Los Angeles.
  • $26,787 against a passenger on a May 5 Southwest Airlines flight from New York City to Chicago.
  • $25,000 against a passenger on a Feb. 3 Southwest Airlines flight from Boston to Chicago.
  • $24,000 against a passenger on a Jan. 21 American Airlines flight from Tampa, Florida, to Miami.
  • $24,000 against a passenger on a March 28 Southwest Airlines flight from New Orleans to Baltimore.
  • $24,000 against a passenger on a Dec. 27, 2020, Delta Air Lines flight from Detroit to Salt Lake City.
  • $17,500 against a passenger on a Nov. 7, 2020, JetBlue Airlines flight from Newark, New Jersey, to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
  • $9,000 against a passenger on a March 20 American Airlines flight from Cancun, Mexico, to Indianapolis.

The FAA began its Zero Tolerance campaign in January, and while the number of incidents is down, the agency says the rate is still too high.

The FAA has civil authority to impose fines up to $37,000 per violation. Violations can result in criminal charges from law enforcement.

Got a tip? Email Domini Davis at dhdavis@kera.org.

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