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FAA: More than 3,500 reports of unruly passengers in 2021 alone, most involved refusing to wear mask

Airlines Unruly Passengers
Posted at 5:53 PM, Jul 21, 2021

If you've been flying recently, then you might have come across a few passengers who forgot to pack their manners.

The FAA says since the beginning of the year, it's gotten more than 3,500 reports of unruly passengers. That's up 500% from 2019.

The agency received nearly 100 reports in the last week alone.

Most of those are travelers' behavior comes as they refuse to wear a mask. Facial coverings are still required on planes, trains, buses, and other mass transit.

The FAA has initiated an investigation into about 580 of those reports of unruly passengers, which have so far resulted in 87 cases with penalties for the passenger.

In 2020, only about 180 investigations were initiated from reports of unruly passengers to the FAA. The most recent spike before 2021 in investigations was in 2004, when there were just over 300 investigations into unruly passengers.

The FAA can propose fines as large as $37,000 per violation depending on their investigation of the incident.