Monday, November 29

Flight Attendants Deal With “Unprecedented Increase” in Unruly Passengers | US News

TThe last high-profile air rage incident in the American skies occurred on July 31. Video from a Frontier Airlines flight showed a passenger taped to his seat, having acted aggressively and allegedly grabbed the breasts of a flight attendant.

It was far from the first case of unruly behavior this year in the U.S. In the first six months of 2021, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has investigated more than 600 incidents involving unruly passengers, nearly double the number of the previous two years combined.

According to the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA), there has been an “unprecedented increase” in incidents of misbehaving passengers on airplanes, as people return to flights after months of absence due to restrictions. pandemics.

More than 85% of the attendees have dealt with unruly passengers in the first six months of 2021, according to the AFA, while nearly one in five attendees “reported experiencing a physical incident.”

“This is the worst it has ever been. Everyone is at stress level 10 coming out of the pandemic, “Taylor Garland, a spokesperson for AFA, told The Guardian.

Airlines have reported 3,715 incidents involving unruly passengers since January 1, many of which involve people who refused to wear face masks, but the AFA said “a lot more was happening.”

In addition to the mask breach, “alcohol, routine safety reminders, flight delays and cancellations were common factors in unruly passenger interactions,” Garland said.

In the Frontier Airlines incident, the tied-up passenger, identified as 22-year-old Max Berry, had ordered multiple alcoholic beverages during the flight from Philadelphia to Miami, according to reports.

A video shared on Twitter It showed Berry, in an orange T-shirt and baseball cap, yelling loudly.

“My parents are worth over two fucking million dollars,” Berry yells.

Later in the clip, Berry is seen attempting to hit a flight attendant, who overpowers him. In a separate videoBerry is then seen glued to a seat.

According to a Miami-Dade police report seen by the Miami HeraldBerry had spilled a drink on his shirt and gone to the bathroom. When he came out he was topless. A flight attendant told Berry to put on a shirt and helped him pull one out of his bag.

Later, Berry “walked around the plane for about 15 minutes,” chatting with another flight attendant before “touching her breasts,” according to police.

Once the flight landed, Berry was arrested and charged with three counts of battery, the Herald reported. He has denied the allegations of trial and error.

But on Friday, the FAA suggested that the unruly passengers were not charged with crimes often enough. Agency administrator Stephen Dickson said police were called to airports to deal with incidents involving passengers each week.

“However, many of these passengers were interviewed by local police and released without criminal charges of any kind,” Dickson said, in a series of letters he sent to airport officials.

“When this occurs, we miss a key opportunity to hold unruly passengers accountable for their unacceptable and dangerous behavior.”

The Flight Attendants Association said 58% of attendees had experienced at least five incidents in the first half of this year. In a survey of nearly 5,000 flight attendants, the association found that 61% reported that disruptive passengers had used “racist, sexist, and / or homophobic slurs during incidents.”

The Frontier incident came less than a month after a woman was restrained with duct tape and “flexible cuffs” during an American Airlines flight from Dallas-Fort Worth to Charlotte, after she allegedly tried to open the plane’s doors.

The woman also “physically attacked, bit and injured a flight attendant”, USA Today reported.

The FAA cannot file criminal charges, but it can propose fines for unruly passengers. Since January 1, 2021, the agency said it has proposed $ 682,000 in fines against passengers.

In one of those cases, the FAA proposed a fine of $ 18,500 for a woman aboard a flight from Indianapolis to Philadelphia who refused to wear a face mask and used “obscene language against flight attendants and other passengers.”

The passenger was ordered to leave the plane; while doing so, he struck a woman holding a baby, according to the FAA.

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