A woman who was duct-taped to her seat aboard an American Airlines flight last year after she allegedly attacked the crew and tried to open the cabin door has been issued a record fine.
The Federal Aviation Administration announced the hefty fine of $81,950 against the unidentified woman on Friday along with a slew of penalties against other rowdy passengers.
The woman was aboard a late-night flight from Dallas-Fort Worth to Charlotte last July when she fell into the aisle. She threatened to hurt a flight attendant who offered to help her, the FAA said.
The unhinged traveler then pushed the flight attendant to the side and tried to open the cabin door. She ‘repeatedly’ hit one flight attendant over the head and was quickly restrained in flex cuffs, but still managed to ‘spit at, headbutt, bite and kick’ the crew and other passengers, according to the federal agency.
A since-deleted TikTok video shows the woman restrained to what looks to be a first-class window seat with her mouth and torso wrapped in grey duct tape. She was taken to the hospital for an evaluation after the flight landed in Charlotte.
The FAA has seen a steep rise in ‘unruly passengers’ since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency initiated 1,099 investigation last year, up from 183 in 2020 and 146 in 2019.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg warned passengers not to be ‘jerks’ during an appearance on The View on Friday before the fine was announced.
The unidentified woman who was restrained in duct tape aboard an American Airlines flight from Dallas to Charlotte in July has been fined $82,000
The woman allegedly threatened to hurt a flight attendant who offered to help her after she fell into the aisle. She then ran to try to open the cabin door and hit another flight attendant ‘repeatedly’ over the head
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg warned airline passengers not to be a ‘jerk’ as record fines were levied on two unruly passengers on Friday
The FAA has seen a steep rise in ‘unruly passengers’ since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency initiated 1,099 investigation last year, up from 183 in 2020 and 146 in 2019
‘Look. It’s one thing to be grumpy on a flight. I feel that way sometimes,’ Secretary Buttigieg said Friday. ‘But yeah, it’s another thing to endanger flight crews and to endanger fellow passengers. We have no tolerance for that.’
Two flight attendants tried to restrain the woman aboard the July 6 flight.
The FAA says she ‘repeatedly’ hit one of them on the head and proceeded to bite, headbutt and kick the crew and other passengers.
TikTok user @lol.ariee, Arieana Mathena, said that it was clear something was happening toward the front of the plane and began locking the bathroom doors.
She said the crew began frantically running up and down the aisle in an attempt to secure the plane as best they could.
Eventually, the captain made an announcement and told passengers to stay in their seats mentioning only that there was a problem towards the front of the aircraft.
After the plane landed, the woman could be seen still duct taped to her seat complete with tape placed directly over her mouth.
She was forced to stay in her seat as other passengers were allowed to disembark from the plane, which landed in the early hours of July 7.
Paramedics were seen standing by with a stretcher at the gate. Police were also present at landing and ‘apprehended’ her before she was taken to the hospital for an evaluation
The FAA has initiated 309 investigations into unruly passengers this year, already higher than the total investigations started in 2019 and 2020
Paramedics were seen standing by with a stretcher at the gate. Police were also present at landing and ‘apprehended’ her, the FAA says.
American Airlines confirmed in a statement that the passenger was ‘restrained’ after causing crew members concern.
‘While in flight from Dallas-Fort Worth to Charlotte on July 6, the crew on board American Airlines flight 1774 reported a potential security concern after a customer attempted to open the forward boarding door and physically assaulted, bit and caused injury to a flight attendant,’ a statement read.
‘For the safety and security of other customers and our crew, the individual was restrained until the flight landed at CLT and could be met by law enforcement and emergency personnel,’ the statement continued.
The woman was taken to a hospital for a mental health evaluation, before being placed on American Airlines’ no-fly list.
The FAA also proposed a $77,272 fine for a female passenger on a Delta flight from Las Vegas to Atlanta last July after the passenger ‘attempted to hug and kiss the passenger seated next to her; walked to the front of the aircraft to try to exit during the flight; refused to return to her seat; and bit another passenger multiple times.’
Delta said Friday it ‘has zero tolerance for unruly behavior at our airports and on our flights as nothing is more important than the safety of our customers and people.’
The FAA has initiated 309 investigations into unruly passengers this year, already higher than the total investigations started in 2019 and 2020.
‘If you’re on an airplane, don’t be a jerk,’ Secretary Buttigieg advised last week. ‘Don’t endanger your fellow passengers.
‘The bottom line is if you’re on an airplane, and you endanger flight crews and fellow passengers, you may be referred for criminal prosecution as well, and you might lose the privilege of flying on that airline, period,’ Buttigieg said.