Oct 5, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Unruly airplane behavior on the rise, new FAA data shows

United Airlines planes are seen at Newark International Airport in New Jersey, United States on September 29, 2021.
United Airlines planes are seen at Newark International Airport in New Jersey on Sept. 29. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Incidences involving unruly passengers on commercial flights are on the rise, according to Federal Aviation Administration data released Tuesday, CNN reports.

Why it matters: The new figures come as the FAA has sought to crack down on unruly passenger incidents, which have surged during the pandemic.

Driving the news: There have been more incidences from unruly passengers on commercial flights in the past week than during any week in the past two and a half months, per CNN.

  • There were 128 new incidents reported by flight crews this week, bringing the year's total to 4,626. The data also marks the highest weekly figure since July 20, when the FAA first started releasing weekly data.
  • About 72% of incidences in the past week were over the federal transportation mask mandate, per CNN.

The big picture: The FAA in January announced a "zero-tolerance policy" to passengers interfering with crew members, which included fines for unruly passengers.

  • Fines against unruly passengers have totaled more than $1 million at this point.

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