FAA Wants 22 More Unruly Passengers To Face Federal Criminal Charges

United Airlines planes taxi at Denver International Airport (DEN) in Denver, Colorado, on July 30, 2023.

The last few years have been hell on most of us, but flight attendants in particular have faced a barrage of bad behavior.

Now the Federal Aviation Administration is recommending another 22 of those unruly passengers face federal charges.The passengers’ antics aren’t just getting too drunk on a plane or causing a kerfuffle over the long-abandoned mask protocol, the AP reports; these passengers were committing sexual assaults, committing regular assaults, making terror threats, attempting to break into the cockpit and smoking in the bathroom (OK, that last one isn’t as heinous, but it’s still definitely not allowed!).

The incidents occurred in a span from 2021 to April of this year.Read moreThese Are Your Guilty Pleasure CarsThe 15 Most Successful Formula 1 Cars of All TimeThese Cars Should Never Have Been Killed OffThe FAA can’t bring criminal charges, though it can hit passengers with up to $37,000 in fees.

What it can do is make recommendations to the FBI on who should catch charges.

Since 2021, when passenger bad behavior spiked just before the de-masking of America, the FAA has recommended 270 people for criminal charges.Things have generally calmed down, at least a little, among the passengers on commercial aircraft.

The worst year for unruly passengers was 2021, when the FAA initiated over 1,000 investigations into almost 6,0000 incidents.

In years before, the average number of incidents meriting investigations in a year were just over 140.

Most of these tantrums were thrown over federal masking rules for air travel during the height of the global pandemic.

The FAA also began a zero tolerance policy towards incidents thanks to the sharp spike in attacks.Image: FAAWhile the government didn’t create a no-fly list for unruly passengers at this time, airlines did, and even shared those lists with other airlines.Things still aren’t good, of course.

Flying is way more stressful now, with record cancelations due to outdated equipment, extreme weather and short staffing.

Close calls between planes are up due to a lack of air traffic controllers and so many private planes teeming in the skies.

And even with all of those challenges, many of us seem to be relearning how to be around humans after the COVID-19 lockdowns of 2020 and 2021.

An unruly passenger just caused a 9-hour flight to be diverted just last month after throwing a fit over his meal choice.More from JalopnikDon’t Expect Used Car Prices to Collapse Anytime SoonNYPD Arrests Cyclist For Uncovering Obscured License Plate, Lets Driver GoSign up for Jalopnik’s Newsletter.

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