Flight attendants learn self defense as FAA reminds passengers of crimes connected to bad behavior

Posted at 1:51 PM, Aug 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-19 18:46:21-04

ROMULUS (WXYZ) — The head of the Federal Aviation Administration is asking airports across the country for help with unruly and dangerous passengers as they are seeing an increase in bad behavior.


"As the number of passengers traveling has increased, so has the number of unruly and unsafe behavior incidents on planes and in airports," said FAA Administrator Steve Dickson in a recent letter to airports.

As a result of an uptick in unruly passengers, Federal Air Marshals with the Transportation Security Administration are now providing an increased number of self-defense training sessions to flight attendants.

Coming up on September `15, a spokesperson for TSA said their Air Marshals will be holding training sessions in Detroit for airline crew members.

Flight attendants interested in the local training can click here or call (703) 487-3309.

Active crew members of all domestic scheduled carriers are eligible for the training program, according to TSA.

The FAA is also reminding passengers that interfering with the duties of any member of the crew on board a flight is a federal offense.

The latest information from the FAA indicates there have been 3,889 reports of unruly passengers.

Mask-related incidents totaled 2,867.

Courtesy: Federal Aviation Administration

This year, the FAA has launched 682 investigations. The federal agency can also propose fines against unruly passengers up to $37,000 per violation. One incident can result in multiple violations.

RELATED: FAA fines against unruly passengers surpass $1 million this year

"They need tasers. That or handcuffs," Lydia Hindle said outside Detroit Metro Airport where she waited for a flight to Las Vegas Wednesday afternoon.

In July, a 27-year-old California man who caused a disturbance on a flight from Los Angeles to Miami appeared in federal court after being charged with interfering with flight crew members and attendants.

If convicted, Anthony Kevin Trujillo faces up to 20 years in federal prison.

Investigations by the FAA show that alcohol often contributes to bad behavior, so Dickson asked airport leaders to help by making sure bars and restaurants located on their grounds help by making sure their customers are not leaving designated areas with alcoholic drinks that they then take on board flights.

"I was taught to respect people," said Ryan Roberts who was traveling to Las Vegas. "If I'm drunk, I'm going to respect people. It doesn't matter if I'm drunk, I'm not going to start swinging on people or groping somebody."

On a recent Frontier Airlines flight, crew members taped a passenger to a chair after he allegedly assaulted some of them verbally, physically, and sexually.