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"Flight rage" is on the increase per FAA Statistics

You've undoubtedly heard about "road rage" where an unruly driver of a motor vehicle lashes out against others on a roadway. Have you also heard about "flight rage," a growing concern?

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) "Incidents where airline passengers have disrupted flights with threatening or violent behavior are an ongoing problem and airlines have seen rapid growth in occurrences since 2021. The FAA has a zero tolerance policy on unruly passenger behavior."

In 2023, there were 2,075 reports of disruptive "flight rage" behavior that were investigated by the FAA and which cited violations of one or more FAA regulations or federal laws.

The FAA states that it can and does report these occurrences to the FBI "when warranted" which may result in prosecution and ultimate incarceration. It also advises that while it does not have the authority to prosecute these incidents, it does have jurisdiction to "propose up to $37,000 per violation for unruly passenger cases" and that a single episode may result in the imposition of multiple fines.

A listing of "flight rage" cases referred to the FBI by the FAA in 2023 reveal many involved alleged workplace violence as they asserted attacks on people at work or customers of the airlines. These referrals include the following:

  • March 2023: Tried to open aircraft door and use a makeshift weapon to assault a flight attendant.

  • Jan. 2023:    Inappropriately touched a 17-year-old passenger.

  • Jan. 2023:    Refused to remain seated, acted erratically, said he needed to fly the aircraft.

  • Jan. 2023:    Assaulted a female passenger.

  • Jan. 2023:    Assaulted a flight attendant.

  • Jan. 2023:    Sexually assaulted a passenger.

  • Dec. 2022:    Passenger assaulted his wife.

  • Dec. 2022:    Assaulted flight attendants and passengers.

  • Dec. 2022:    Tried to strike a flight attendant and enter the flight deck.

  • Dec. 2022: Assaulted, threatened and intimidated flight attendants.

  • Dec. 2022:    Assaulted another passenger.

  • Dec. 2022:    Inappropriately touched another passenger.

  • July 2022:    Threatened and intimidated flight attendants and passengers.

  • July 2022:    Assaulted another passenger.

  • July 2022:    Threatened flight attendants and passenger.

  • April 2022:     Sexually assaulted a flight attendant.

  • April 2022:     Assaulted a flight attendant and passenger, deployed evacuation slide.



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