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FAA makes 'zero-tolerance' policy for unruly passengers permanent

Apr 20, 2022

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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced Wednesday that its "zero tolerance" policy against unruly airline passengers will be made permanent.  

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In January 2021, the agency implemented the policy after seeing "a disturbing increase in incidents where airline passengers have disrupted flights with threatening or violent behavior."

Passengers walk through Salt Lake City International Airport in Salt Lake City, Oct. 27, 2020.  (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer / AP Newsroom)

Under the policy, passengers can face fines of up to $37,000 per violation, according to the FAA. However, if a passenger commits multiple violations, they can face an even higher penalty.

"Behaving dangerously on a plane will cost you; that’s a promise," acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen said in a statement on Wednesday. 

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The number of incidents has dramatically declined since January 2021, by about 60%, but FAA data still indicates that airline crews are still facing the same problem. 

Airlines have already reported more than 1,200 cases of unruly passenger incidents since the beginning of 2022, according to FAA data.

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