After the Frontier Airlines debacle, the FAA enlists airports to curb unruly passengers

By Connie Lin

August 05, 2021

Amid a spike in unruly passengers on flights, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is enlisting airports to help kick them to the curb.

Specifically, it’s urging airport police to arrest more people who are behaving violently, or threateningly, on planes or in terminals. “While the FAA has levied civil fines against unruly passengers, it has no authority to prosecute criminal cases,” the agency’s administrator Steve Dickson wrote in a letter to United States airport officials of nearly 1,000 commercial hubs. “When this occurs, we miss a key opportunity to hold unruly passengers accountable for their unacceptable and dangerous behavior.”

Additionally, Dickson requested that airport food and concessions shops stop offering alcoholic beverages to go, citing that passengers can then become inebriated during the boarding process, contributing to an uptick in violent behavior.

The plea comes on the heels of a viral video in which Frontier Airlines staff were forced to duct tape a disruptive passenger to his seat, after he allegedly harassed and assaulted three other people on a Miami-bound flight.

According to the FAA, it has fielded 3,715 reports of unruly behavior since the start of the year.