Airline passenger faces $52,500 fine for allegedly trying to open cockpit door, assaulting flight attendant

FAA identified potential violations in 370 cases over past year

A "disruptive" airline passenger is facing a $52.500 fine for allegedly trying to gain access to the airplane's cockpit and assaulting a flight attendant multiple times, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced.

It was on Dec. 23 that a Delta Air Lines flight from Honolulu to Seattle that a passenger "repeatedly refused to comply with crew members’ instructions" and hit a flight attendant in the face and then pushed them to the floor, the FAA said Monday. 

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The passenger is also accused of threatening "the flight attendant by charging at him," the FAA said. 

The passenger, who had been placed in plastic handcuffs, freed himself and "struck the flight attendant in the face a second time." The passenger was later taken into custody, the FAA said. 

Travelers walk through in Salt Lake City International Airport, Tuesday, March 9, 2021, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

This, however, is just one of four civil penalties issued against airline passengers Monday that allegedly interfered with the airline crew.

Two passengers on other flights face potential fines for not covering their mouth and nose with a mask. The FAA told FOX Business it has identified potential violations in 370 cases and have initiated 27 enforcement actions.

has announced more than a dozen instances of large potentials for misbehaving passengers in recent weeks.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
DAL DELTA AIR LINES INC. 45.52 -0.01 -0.02%
LUV SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO. 56.67 -0.45 -0.79%

Three other passengers are facing fines ranging from $9,000 to $27,000 for their alleged disruptive behavior on flights in January and February, according to the FAA.

FAA ISSUES PENALTIES TO ALLEGEDLY DISRUPTIVE AIRLINE PASSENGERS

The FAA proposed a $27,000 penalty against a man on a New Year's Day flight aboard Southwest Airlines who yelled and said he had a bomb and would blow up the plane. The pilots made an unplanned landing in Oklahoma City, where the man was arrested.

None of the passengers were identified. They have 30 days to protest to the FAA.

Each violation carries a maximum penalty of $35,000 but if a passenger "commits more than than one alleged violation, the proposed penalty can be higher," the FAA told FOX Business. 

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However, the more than $52,000 penalty is the highest proposed penalty since the agency its zero-tolerance policy earlier this year.

The agency signed an order on Jan. 13 allowing for stricter legal enforcement against unruly passengers after seeing a "disturbing increase in incidents where airline passengers have disrupted flights with threatening or violent behavior."