Sunday, January 29, 2023

Woman punches her son and steals passenger’s cookies on flight from Texas, FAA says

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The Federal Aviation Administration is recommending aa hefty fine to a Horizon Air passenger for an “unruly” incident on a flight from Austin to San Francisco, officials said in a news release.

A passenger who refused to fasten her seat belt on the May 18 flight “punched and screamed at her husband and son …. diverting flight attendants from their duties,” the news release said. “She threw trash at a flight attendant, and snatched cookies from a nearby passenger.”

A fine of $32,000 was proposed for the woman, who was not named.

Her case was one of 10 announced Nov. 10.

McClatchy News reached out to Horizon Air for comment.

The FAA recently reported that while incidents with unruly passenger on commercial flights have dropped since the “Zero Tolerance campaign” launched, the rate still remains high.

“Our work is having an impact and the trend is moving in the right direction. But we need the progress to continue. This remains a serious safety threat, and one incident is one too many,” FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said in a September release. “The FAA will continue its Zero Tolerance policy, keep its public awareness campaign going, and keep pushing and partnering with everyone in the aviation system to do more.”

More than 100 reports of passenger disturbances that involved physical assault have been filed since Jan. 1, the release said.

According to the Sept. FAA release, “unruly passenger incidents were occurring approximately six times per every 10,000 flights.”

Among the other fines proposed by the FAA on Nov. 10 include:

  • $20,000 for a Delta Air Lines passenger accused of yelling orders at multiple flight attendants and verbally threatened an attendant with profanity on a flight from New York to Los Angeles.

  • $26,787 for a Southwest Airlines passenger who left his seat and attempted to enter the cockpit before he tried to remove his luggage from the overhead bin during the plane’s final descent, according to the news release.

  • $24,000 for a passenger on American Airlines who was accused of physically assaulting a flight attendant after the captain requested to remove her from the flight for refusing to wear her face mask during boarding.

  • $23,000 for a passenger who “verbally abused flight attendants after she realized her assigned seat would not recline” on an American Airlines flight from Dallas-Fort Worth Airport to Aspen, Colorado, the news release said.

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