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Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Airlines have reported some 3,000 cases of unruly behavior by passengers to the Federal Aviation Administration this year — including 2,300 for refusing to comply with face mask mandates, the FAA announced Monday.

Why it matters: Passenger numbers remain below pre-pandemic levels. But the FAA is investigating the highest number of suspected federal law violations since it began recording unruly passenger incidents in 1995, per ABC News.

  • The FAA has looked into 394 incidents this year in which passengers have possibly broken the law by "interfering with the duties of a crew member," ABC News notes.

Context: The FAA usually deals with 100-150 reports of unruly behavior in any given year.

The big picture: The agency announced last month plans to impose civil penalties ranging from $9,000 to $32,750 as part new "zero tolerance" policy. This followed an uptick in incidents of disobedient passengers on flights stemming from their refusal to wear masks and January's U.S. Capitol riot.

Yes, but: Lyn Montgomery, a spokesperson for the union that represents Southwest flight attendants, told ABC News she'd noticed that cases seemed to be "escalating" despite the FAA's crackdown.

Of note: Southwest and American airlines announced last month they wouldn't resume in-flight alcohol service as planned after a flight attendant was assaulted by a female passenger, among other in-flight incidents.

  • Montgomery told ABC News she wants airlines to use their "internal no-fly lists more often" — as happened with the violent Southwest passenger, who was told she was permanently banned from flying with the company.

Go deeper

Jun 14, 2021 - Technology

New airport screening tech: Shoes on!

The PNNL-developed shoe scanner builds on millimeter wave technology used in passenger scanners deployed at airports to detect concealed weapons. (Photo by Andrea Starr | Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)

The time is coming when you won't have to take your shoes off before passing through airport security.

Why it matters: Removing shoes at the TSA checkpoint is one of the most inconvenient rituals of flying in the U.S.

Updated 39 mins ago - Sports

Katie Ledecky wins gold in first women's 1500m freestyle

Team USA's Katie Ledecky celebrates after winning the final of the women's 1,500m freestyle swimming event during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre in Tokyo on Wednesday. Photo: Attila Kisbenedek/AFP via Getty Images)

Katie Ledecky took home the Olympic gold medal in the women's 1,500-meter freestyle swimming race Tuesday evening, becoming the first female swimmer to win the newly added division. Team USA's Erica Sullivan won silver.

Of note: The Tokyo Games mark the first time that the long-distance race has been open to women, and Ledecky paid tribute to her predecessors after the race. "I just think of all the great U.S. swimmers who didn’t have a chance to swim that event," she said on NBC.

Updated 49 mins ago - Sports

Olympics dashboard

Katie Ledecky celebrates with teammate Erica Sullivan after winning the women’s 1500m freestyle final. Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

🚨: Katie Ledecky wins gold in first women's 1500m freestyle

🤸🏾‍♀️: Simone Biles pulls out of gymnastics team finals, citing her mental health

🎾: "This one sucks more than the others," Naomi Osaka says on upset loss

⚽️: USA women's soccer ties Australia, propelling them to the quarterfinals

🏊‍♀️: Teen swimmer Lydia Jacoby wins first U.S. women's Tokyo Games gold

👟: World Athletics president supports reviewing marijuana rules in doping

🏄‍♀️: American Carissa Moore wins first-ever women's Olympic gold in surfing

Go deeper: Full Axios coverage - Medal tracker