The FAA is proposing record fines of $81,950 and $77,272 to passengers who it says tried to open cabin doors and bite fellow passengers

The FAA is proposing record fines of $81,950 and $77,272 to passengers who it says tried to open cabin doors and bite fellow passengers
A flight attendant on an airplane.Matej Kastelic/500px/Getty Images
  • The FAA announced record-breaking fines for two unruly passengers of $81,950 and $77,272.
  • The fines come amid calls for a national no-fly list and frustration from airline employees.

The US Federal Aviation Administration is proposing its highest-ever fines against two passengers, as Congress considers legislation that would create a national "no fly" list.

The two record-breaking fines are $81,950 and $77,272, which brings the year's total fines to $2 million, the FAA said in a Friday press release. The passengers have 30 days to respond.

The $81,950 fine related to an incident in which the FAA said a passenger threatened to harm a flight attendant who had offered to help them after they fell down in the aisle. Then, the passenger attempted to open the cabin door, and when flight attendants tried to stop her, she hit them, the release said.

"After the passenger was restrained in flex cuffs, she spit at, headbutted, bit and tried to kick the crew and other passengers," the FAA added.

In the second case, a passenger tried to "hug and kiss the passenger seated next to her; walked to the front of the aircraft to try to exit during flight; refused to return to her seat; and bit another passenger multiple times," the FAA said.


As of April 4, 2022, there have been 1,081 unruly passenger reports, and 707 related to facemasks, per FAA data.

"If you are on an airplane, don't be a jerk and don't endanger the flight crews and fellow passengers. If you do, you will be fined by the FAA," US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told The View Friday.

85% of flight attendants reported dealing with "unruly passengers," in a survey last summer from the Association of Flight Attendants, with 17% saying that they had dealt with a "physical incident."

In response to the chaos and violence on planes, the FAA started a public awareness campaign and a no-tolerance policy, the release added. It claimed those two efforts reduced unruly passenger rates by 60%.

In January 2021, FAA Administrator Steve Dickson changed the agency's policy. Instead of getting warnings or counseling first, "the agency will pursue legal enforcement action against any passenger who assaults, threatens, intimidates, or interferes with airline crew members."


Delta Air Lines and Buttigieg have pushed for a no-fly list, but creating one could be complex. There is also pushback from Republican legislators.

Representative Eric Swalwell introduced a bill Wednesday to make a TSA no-fly list.

"Unfortunately, too many of our pilots, flight attendants and crew members are dealing with unacceptable abuse from passengers — everything from kicking to spitting to biting. This behavior is not only inappropriate, but it also puts other crew and passengers at risk," Swalwell said, per the Washington Post.