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'Unruly Behavior Doesn't Fly,' FAA Warns In New Public Service Announcement

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Thousands of unruly passenger incidents have been reported within the last year, putting flight attendants at risk, and distracting pilots, according to a new public service announcement by the FAA.

To that end, the FAA issued a new warning for air travelers: unruly behavior doesn't fly. The recently released PSA includes actual recordings between flight crews and air traffic controllers when confronted with what the agency calls "issues that have climbed to intolerable levels."

Over 3,988 incidents have been reported just this year. Of the reported incidents, 2928 incidents involved individuals who refused to comply with the mask mandate. Others involve passengers drinking alcohol illegally brought on board.

Last week, the FAA fined one passenger $45,000 after he was accused of throwing objects, including his carry-on luggage at other passengers, refusing to stay seated, lying on the floor in the aisle, refusing to get up, and then grabbing a flight attendant by the ankles and putting his head up her skirt. That incident unfolded May 24, 2021 while onboard a jetBlue Airways flight from New York, NY to Orlando, Fla.

"It's a very serious moment," said American Airlines Capt. Kevin Tajer from the Allied Pilots Association. "An unruly passenger is not just creating havoc and violence in the space that they live in, they are spreading that out all through the airplane and they are distracting the pilots."

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