Airline trade associations and unions are calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to do something about the inundation of soulless passengers raising drunken hell in the lawless skies. Specifically, they want them put in prison.
In a letter addressed to Attorney General Merrick Garland, 10 groups that represent major airlines and airline employees described airplane cabins’ devolution into an anarchic zone where plane gangsters terrorize flight crews at will. The letter references a “substantial increase in and growing escalation of passengers’ unruly and disruptive behavior onboard aircraft, particularly toward crewmembers.” This has to do with the fact that anti-maskers have been out and about; the agency reported in May that out of roughly 2,500 reports this year, 1,900 incidents had to do with refusals to comply with mask mandates.
The Federal Aviation Administration has now received over 3,000 reports and opened 487 investigations into assault or interference aboard commercial aircraft, already more than three times the total number of investigations in 2019. The FAA also increased fines against passengers in May to between $9,000 and $32,750. In total, according to the groups’ letter, the FAA has levied civil penalties totaling $368,000 against 21 passengers.
In an email to Gizmodo, President and CEO of the Regional Airline Association Faye Malarkey Black said that members began reporting “rising numbers of crew interference” in late 2020. Despite the fact that the FAA has been “extremely proactive,” Black said, with an awareness campaign and heightened enforcement, “these incidents have continued at concerning levels.”
“I want to make a point – when you hear the FAA and others talk about unruly passengers, some might have in mind taking action against someone who is not using their inside voice,” Black added. “Let’s call this what it really is, which is illegal behaviors onboard aircraft.”
In its May report, the FAA recommended fines for five passengers on some alleged next-level bullshit. Almost all were traveling to or from Texas or Florida:
- On January 7, a passenger on an Alaska Airlines flight from Washington D.C. to Seattle “pushed and/or shoved” a flight attendant while attendants noted which passengers weren’t masking.
- On January 10, a passenger on a JetBlue flight from Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles drank his own booze, made a cell phone call, and yelled at the flight attendant who repeatedly reminded him of the rules.
- On February 20, a man on a Southwest Airlines flight from Oakland to Houston threw his mask on the floor and announced that he could do whatever he wanted in Texas. The captain had to call Houston police to meet him at his arrival.
- On February 22, a JetBlue flight from Miami to Los Angeles had to be rerouted to Austin in order to boot a passenger who smuggled champagne, a headset, and food from first class. A flight attendant returned the items, after which the passenger “yelled obscenities at the flight attendant and followed him to the first-class section, then assaulted the flight attendant by hitting him with her body and almost pushing him into the lavatory.”
- On March 17, a JetBlue flight from Orlando to New York City was delayed thanks to a passenger who hurled profanities at flight attendants who instructed him to wear a mask. “When [ground security] arrived and asked the passenger to get off the plane, he became combative and irate and loudly refused to get off,” the FAA report reads. “The captain then called for law enforcement. After law enforcement arrived, the passenger continued to be combative and irate and initially refused to get off the aircraft. When he gathered his belongings to leave the plane, he started screaming at a flight attendant.”
Delaying a flight will surely free all U.S. citizens from the chains of in-flight class hierarchy and government health mandates.
The flight associations recommend that the DOJ prosecute anyone who assaults or intimidates flight crews, which can result in a fine or imprisonment of up to 20 years, or both. They’d also like to see the prosecutions publicized, as a warning to the others who plan on taking this plane and all the souls aboard with them by god.
If you have traveled among them, please tell us all about it.