FAA adopts stricter unruly passenger policy

The Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday adopted a stricter unruly passenger policy in the wake of recent troubling events aboard flights.

Last week, KIRO 7 told you about a flight from Washington, D.C. to Seattle, where passengers acted disorderly and refused to wear masks and were later banned from flying with Alaska Airlines.

Steve Dickson, the agency’s administrator, signed an order which stated in part that any passenger who interferes with, physically assaults, or threatens aircraft crew or anyone else on a plane could face “stiff penalties.”

“Flying is the safest mode of transportation, and I signed this order to keep it that way,” Dickson said.

“Historically, the agency has addressed unruly-passenger incidents using a variety of methods ranging from warnings and counseling to civil penalties. Effective immediately, however, the FAA will not address these cases with warnings or counseling,” Dickson also stated in a release.

The FAA said the new policy will be effective through March 30, and disruptive passengers could face fines up to $35,000 and imprisonment.