Delta passenger accused of trying to open cockpit, hitting flight attendant

An airline passenger facing charges after being disruptive aboard a flight is just one of several incidents in the past year

Authorities have decided to press charges after a Delta passenger reportedly assaulted a flight attendant and then attempted to open the cockpit. 

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According to reports, Monday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced the proposal of civil penalties against four different passengers ranging from $9K to $52,500K due to a series of incidents that kicked off with a Dec. 23, 2020 scuffle that took place on a Delta flight from from Honolulu, Hawaii, to Seattle, Wash. 

“The FAA alleges that the passenger tried to open the cockpit door, repeatedly refused to comply with crew members’ instructions, and physically assaulted a flight attendant by striking him in the face and pushing him to the floor. The passenger then threatened the flight attendant by charging at him as he was trying to restrain the passenger,” read a statement from the FAA.

“Flight attendants, with the help of another passenger, placed plastic handcuffs on the disruptive passenger,” the account continued. “Later, the passenger freed himself from one of the handcuffs and struck the flight attendant in the face a second time. Police boarded the aircraft after it landed and took the passenger into custody.”

Delta Airlines
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The passenger in question is facing a potential fine of $52,500K for his actions.

In a second incident, a passenger on a Jan. 1, 2020, Southwest Airlines flight from Phoenix, Arizona, to Chicago, Illinois, faces a potential fine of $27K for allegedly “yelling and forcefully banging his hands on the seat in front of him, disturbing nearby passengers,” after a flight attendant told him to take his seat.

At some point during the flight, the passenger “yelled that he was going to kill someone and that he had a bomb and was going to blow up the aircraft. Because of his behavior, flight attendants relocated several nearby passengers, and the captain diverted the flight to Oklahoma City. Police took the passenger into custody after the plane landed.”

A third passenger on a Feb. 5, 2021, jetBlue Airlines flight from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, to Las Vegas, Nevada, faces $18,500K in fines because he was caught with “several mini bottles of alcohol that the airline had not served to him.”

When he ignored warnings that he wasn’t allowed to drink a personal alcohol supply during the flight and then refused to wear a mask, “the disturbances that the passenger caused required flight attendants to alert the pilots about his behavior,” which made for an incredibly unpleasant experience for others on the aircraft.

And lastly, a passenger on a Feb. 15, 2021, Allegiant Air flight from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, to Knoxville, Tennessee faces $9K in potential fines for cussing out flight attendants when asked to weak a mask onboard.

“Later, she came to the front of the plane to use the lavatory and sat in the exit row because the lavatory was occupied,” the account continued. “After the flight attendant told her she could not sit in the exit row, she got up, stood close to the flight attendant without wearing her mask over her mouth and nose, and screamed at the flight attendant. When another flight attendant attempted to provide the passenger with a disturbance form, the passenger began to curse, telling the flight attendants they couldn’t do anything.”

“Federal law prohibits interfering with aircraft crew or physically assaulting or threatening to physically assault aircraft crew or anyone else on an aircraft. Passengers are subject to civil penalties because such misconduct can threaten the safety of the flight by disrupting or distracting cabin crew from their safety duties,” the FAA clarified in the statement.

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The passengers — whose identities are being protected – have 30 days to respond to the FAA’s enforcement letter.

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