FAA says it’s cracking down on violent, unruly passengers
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Unruly passengers have been put on notice.
The Federal Aviation Administration said Wednesday it would take a tougher stance against unruly and violent passengers on U.S. flights.
The agency said it was making the move following “a disturbing increase in incidents where airline passengers have disrupted flights with threatening or violent behavior.”
Want more airline-specific news? Sign up for TPG’s free new biweekly Aviation newsletter!
“These incidents have stemmed both from passengers’ refusals to wear masks and from recent violence at the U.S. Capitol,” the agency added in a statement.
The change in tone comes as airline crews have found themselves on the frontlines, both in enforcing mask policies and in keeping the peace amid a volatile political climate.
Mask-wearing has been an ongoing issue for crews. But, more recently, there have been a number of reports detailing the raucous behavior of passengers on several flights carrying Trump supporters to and from a Jan. 6 rally that ultimately led to violence at the U.S. Capitol.
Under a new policy that will begin March 30, the FAA will no longer warn passengers involved in inflight incidents. Instead, the agency will move directly toward “legal enforcement action” against “any passenger who assaults, threatens, intimidates, or interferes with airline crew members.”
“Flying is the safest mode of transportation and I signed this order to keep it that way,” FAA Administrator Dickson said.
Typically, the FAA and other government regulators announce major changes far in advance of implementation, offering the public time to comment on the rule changes. But while March 30 may seem far off, the timeline is relatively short for such a new mandate.
The new policy is likely to be welcome by airline crews, who are often left to sort out such conflicts when they arise inflight.
In the absence of a federal policy, airlines have been left to institute their own rules for wearing masks on their flights. While most airline policies are now consistent, some passengers have purposefully tested the policies while traveling. Politics emerged as a new flashpoint earlier this month, when conflicts on several Washington flights showed tense moments on planes and went viral on social media.
The incidents were enough to prompt the chief of nation’s largest flight attendants union to speak out.
“It’s one thing to have one or two bad actors on a plane… [but] in the past two, three days it’s a whole different thing,” Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, said to Skift on Monday after numerous reports of inflight incidents. “They’ve taken over the entire tone on the plane. How do you deal with that at 30,000 feet?”
Featured photo Joe Raedle/Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.