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American Airlines passenger who spat on crew and tried to open door mid-flight receives record fine |  American News

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An American Airlines passenger who allegedly pushed a flight attendant, spat at crew members and tried to open the cabin door mid-flight has been fined $81,950 (£62,950) – the largest ever inflicted by US aviation regulators.

A second fine of $77,272 (£59,360) has been imposed on a Delta Air Lines passenger who bit a fellow traveler after he attempted to hug and kiss another.

Since January last year, when the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) imposed a zero-tolerance policy, the agency has offered fines totaling around $7m (£5.38m) for disruptive passengers .

The last two fines are the highest to date.

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A Delta passenger was also fined over $77,000. Photo: AP

What happened on the American Airlines flight?

The American Airlines passenger was flying from Dallas, Texas, to Charlotte, North Carolina, in July when she ‘threatened to hurt the flight attendant’ who offered to help her after falling in the driveway.

The unnamed woman then pushed the stewardess aside and attempted to open the cabin door.

The FAA added that “two flight attendants attempted to restrain the passenger, but she repeatedly punched one of the flight attendants in the head.”

“After the passenger was restrained by flexible handcuffs, she spat, headbutted, bit and attempted to kick the crew and other passengers,” authorities added.

And what about the Delta incident?

The Delta passenger was on a flight from Las Vegas to Atlanta, also in July, when she “attempted to hug and kiss the passenger sitting next to her; walked forward plane to try to get out during the flight; refused to return to his seat; and bit another passenger several times”.

Delta said it “has zero tolerance for unruly behavior at our airports and on our flights because nothing is more important than the safety of our customers and people.”

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The zero tolerance policy was imposed when passenger incidents escalated at the time of United States Capitol Riotsand remained high after President Joe Biden imposed a mandate requiring passengers to wear masks on planes and at airports because of COVID.

None of those incidents involved passengers objecting to wearing masks – a policy that will expire or be renewed on April 18.

The FAA said in February it had referred 80 unruly airline passengers to the FBI for possible criminal prosecution.

US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said the administration and Congress are considering a “no-fly” list for unruly passengers.

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