Unruly Passenger Statistics
The FAA investigates unruly-passenger incidents that airline crews report to the agency. The data below reflects all cases the FAA investigated that cited violations of one or more FAA regulations or federal laws.
Click each icon on the interactive graph below to see total unruly passenger reports, investigations initiated, enforcement actions, and fines levied for each year.
The rate of unruly passenger incidents has dropped by over 80 percent since record highs in early 2021, but there remains more work to do.
- Interfering with the duties of a crewmember violates federal law.
- The FAA has civil authority, allowing it to impose fines. It does not have criminal prosecutorial authority, although passengers who engage in unruly behavior can still be prosecuted on criminal charges.
- As part of the FAA's Reauthorization Bill, FAA can propose up to $37,000 per violation for unruly passenger cases. One incident can result in multiple violations.
- The repercussions for passengers who engage in unruly behavior can be substantial. They can be fined by the FAA or prosecuted on criminal charges.
- The FAA's database contains only those incidents reported to FAA. Reporting is at the discretion of the crewmember.
VIEW THE ZERO TOLERANCE DIGITAL TOOLKIT
FAA Acting Administrator Billy Nolen reiterates that the FAA has zero tolerance for unruly passenger behavior. If you disrupt a flight, you risk not only substantial fines from the FAA, but also federal criminal prosecution and jail time.