Two airline passengers accused of biting and spitting on flights face the biggest penalties yet

The Federal Aviation Administration said Friday that the largest-ever US fines for rioting passengers have been proposed against travelers accused of assaulting cabin crew last year.

An unidentified woman faces a civil fine of $81,950 after officials said she threatened a flight attendant who offered to help her after she fell and tried to open a cabin door. The FAA said in a statement that the passenger was hit, head butted, bitten and spit on crew members.

The agency said the accident occurred in July on an American Airlines flight from Dallas to Charlotte, North Carolina. The FAA said the passenger could also face criminal prosecution.

The FAA said another woman faces a $77,272 fine after attempting to hug and kiss another passenger, attempting to get out during the flight, and biting a passenger multiple times. It was restricted during a Delta flight from Las Vegas to Atlanta in July, and also in July, officials said.

Prior to these proposed fines, the maximum penalty was a $52,000 tax against an unidentified man who allegedly assaulted flight attendants after trying to open the cockpit door during a Delta flight from Honolulu to Seattle in 2020, FAA spokesman Donnell Evans said.

The agency said in a statement on Friday that it had proposed fines of about $2 million since the beginning of the year.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been grappling with an explosion of unruly passenger reports since the start of the pandemic. on 65 percent of accidents They are linked to federal rules that require passengers to wear masks, according to FAA figures.

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The agency said Friday that since it announced more than a year ago a strict enforcement against riotous passengers, including a zero-tolerance policy, the number of accidents has fallen by nearly 60 percent.

The FAA noted that federal law prohibits threats and interference against crew members.

Last year, FAA Airports urged to limit liquor serviceparticularly in “travel mugs”, citing information that passengers were drinking before and during boarding, an issue it said may contribute to the unruly passenger phenomenon.

American Airlines was the last major airline to announce it would reintroduce Onboard alcohol service After carriers stopped doing so at the start of the pandemic in 2020. The company will resume service on April 18, the federal mask’s expiration date.

Jay Blackman And Austin Mullen Contributed.

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