Delta Passenger Faces Potential $52,500 Fine After Allegedly Trying to Open Cockpit, Striking Flight Attendant

“Police boarded the aircraft after it landed and took the passenger into custody,” the Federal Aviation Administration said

Delta plane
Delta airplane. Photo: NurPhoto/Getty

A Delta passenger is facing a potential fine of $52,500 after the alleged assault of a flight attendant and attempting to open the cockpit.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced the proposal of civil penalties on Monday of four different passengers ranging from $9,000 to $52,500.

The passenger receiving the highest potential penalty was on a Delta flight on Dec. 23, 2020 from Honolulu, Hawaii, to Seattle, Wash.

"The FAA alleges that the passenger tried to open the cockpit door, repeatedly refused to comply with crew members' instructions, and physically assaulted a flight attendant by striking him in the face and pushing him to the floor. The passenger then threatened the flight attendant by charging at him as he was trying to restrain the passenger," a statement from the FAA read.

Delta plane
Delta airplane. Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The agency added that they restrained "the disruptive passenger" with plastic handcuffs but that later, "the passenger freed himself from one of the handcuffs and struck the flight attendant in the face a second time."

"Police boarded the aircraft after it landed and took the passenger into custody," the FAA said of the incident.

Another passenger from a Southwest Airlines flight from Phoenix, Ariz., to Chicago, Ill., on Jan. 1, 2020 is facing a potential $27,000 fine after allegedly "yelling and forcefully banging his hands on the seat in front of him, disturbing nearby passengers."

The FAA also alleged the passenger "yelled that he was going to kill someone and that he had a bomb and was going to blow up the aircraft," leading to the flight being diverted to Oklahoma City so that police could take him into custody.

Southwest Airlines. Getty

One male passenger is facing a potential $18,500 fine for a jetBlue Airlines flight from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., to Las Vegas, Nev. on Feb. 5, 2021, the FAA announced.

He faces the potential fine after allegedly drinking "several mini bottles of alcohol that the airline had not served to him" and continually removing his mask or wearing it "improperly.

Robert Alexander/Getty

The fourth potential fine the FAA announced is for $9,000. That passenger was on an Allegiant Air flight from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., to Knoxville, Tenn., on Feb. 15, 2021.

The FAA alleged the passenger repeatedly took off their facemask and "stood close to the flight attendant without wearing her mask over her mouth and nose, and screamed at the flight attendant. When another flight attendant attempted to provide the passenger with a disturbance form, the passenger began to curse, telling the flight attendants they couldn't do anything."

PA Images/Getty

"Federal law prohibits interfering with aircraft crew or physically assaulting or threatening to physically assault aircraft crew or anyone else on an aircraft. Passengers are subject to civil penalties because such misconduct can threaten the safety of the flight by disrupting or distracting cabin crew from their safety duties," the FAA said in the statement.

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The agency added, "Additionally, federal law provides for criminal fines and imprisonment of passengers who interfere with the performance of a crewmember's duties by assaulting or intimidating that crewmember."

The passengers – who will not be named – have 30 days to respond to the FAA's enforcement letter.

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