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Unruly Passenger Incidents Down Last Year After Pandemic High

The Federal Aviation Administration has sent more than 250 cases of unruly passengers to the FBI since 2021. Of the thousands of unruly airline passengers, it referred some of the most violent ones to the FBI. They assaulted flight attendants, released the evacuation slide and tried to enter the flight deck, among other things, reports the Wall Street Journal. The FBI reviews the cases to determine whether the unruly passengers should face criminal charges in addition to FAA fines. It is against federal law to harass, assault or threaten a crew member. “If you act out on a plane, you should just stay at home because we will come after you with serious consequences,” said Acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen. “We have zero tolerance for unruly behavior.” There have been more unruly passengers in the skies since the coronavirus pandemic began. The agency reported 5,973 unruly passenger episodes in 2021, a record. The number of episodes dropped to 2,455 last year, still above prepandemic levels. Flight attendants say that while "air rage" long has been an issue, they have seen a surge in harassment, threats and physical altercations in recent years. They said some passengers became more aggressive because they were frustrated by flight delays and mask mandates. In a 2021 survey of 5,000 flight attendants by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA union, 85% said they had dealt with unruly passengers that year.


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