The FAA Is Proposing Major Fines For Alcohol-Related Incidents on Airplanes

This will make passengers think twice.


It's been a challenging year for the airline industry. In addition to a lack of travelers and massive layoffs, airlines have been dealing with an uptick in unruly passengers. Many of the incidents were fueled by a combination of mask mandates, new rules, and alcohol. Airlines, crews, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have tried to curb bad behavior on flights to no avail. Now they're trying something new. 

In an attempt to curb conflict on planes, many airlines have cut or limited alcohol service. Airlines and crews are still struggling, so the FAA is proposing even more fines. According to the agency, as of Monday, it's seeking more than $160,000 in fines from eight passengers involved in incidents involving alcohol. 

The largest of the fines, according to HuffPost, was a $40,000 fine for a passenger who brought booze onto a plane, drank it, smoked pot in the airplane restroom, and then sexually assaulted a flight attendant. The incident occurred on a Southwest flight back in April. Police arrested the passenger once the plane landed in San Diego, California. They were charged with resisting arrest and public intoxication, but not the assault. It's unclear why.

The FAA has been imposing serious fines on folks who misbehave on airplanes to deter the behavior. Airlines started seeing an uptick in incidents amid the pandemic, with even more arising in January. This year, airlines have reported more than 5,000 incidents of unruly passengers alone. A majority of the incidents have involved mask mandates and rules put in place post-pandemic. Nearly 300 of the incidents were alcohol-fueled

Despite this, some airlines have decided to begin serving booze again. It's unclear whether that has led to more incidents or not. The Transportation Security Administration extended its mask mandate in August, and it will run through January 18 and applies to airplanes, airports, and other public transportation. Those who don't want to follow the rules will have to find another way to travel or risk the chance of being hit with a huge fine.

The FAA isn't the only organization cracking down. Airlines have started keeping track of passengers cited for bad behavior on flights. Some flight attendants are looking to put problematic passengers on a no-fly list of sorts that would bar troublesome passengers from flying any airlines after getting in trouble in-flight. 

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Caitlyn Hitt is Daria IRL. Don't take our word for it—find her on Twitter @nyltiaccc.