U.S. to Prioritize Prosecution of Unruly Air Passengers
Attorney General Merrick B. Garland on Wednesday instructed prosecutors to prioritize federal criminal prosecution on commercial flights, as millions of passengers make their way through the United States for Thanksgiving, the country’s longest-running holiday.
As travel in the United States approaches epidemic levels, the federal government has stepped up criminal proceedings on flights, especially for passengers refusing to comply with the Covid Protocol. In some cases, passengers have attacked or threatened the flight attendant.
Federal law prohibits attacks, intimidation and threats of violence that disrupt flight workers, as well as other criminal acts that may occur during the flight.
Reports filed in the Aviation Safety Reporting System database by Flight Attendant describe the sometimes confusing, uninterrupted workplace where passengers routinely abuse airline staff.
“Passengers who attack, intimidate or threaten flight crew and flight attendants are harming those employees; They prevent the fulfillment of important duties that help ensure safe air travel, “Mr Garland said in a statement on Wednesday.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, in the past year, there have been 5,338 unreported passenger reports and 3,856 mask-related incidents.
Historically, the FAA has handled these cases with civil penalties, warning notices, and counseling. However, under the current zero-tolerance policy for unregulated passengers, established in January, the FAA has opted to impose civil penalties on unregulated passengers. A passenger can be fined up to 37,000 per violation and can be cited for multiple violations at one time.
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