Woman glued to seat on NC flight fined over $81,000

A woman who was glued to her seat on an American Airlines flight to Charlotte in July has been fined $81,950 by the Federal Aviation Administration – the administration’s largest fine to date.

The woman was flying from Dallas-Fort Worth to Charlotte on an overnight flight which landed in Charlotte on July 7.

According to the FAA, the woman threatened to injure a flight attendant after falling in the aisle. The passenger then pushed the flight attendant to the side and attempted to open the cabin door.

The FAA announced the latest round of fines for unruly passengers on Friday.

Two flight attendants attempted to restrain the passenger, but the woman repeatedly punched a flight attendant in the head, according to the FAA. She also bit and attempted to kick the crew, according to the FAA.

A video posted to TikTok at the time, which has since been deleted, showed the woman in visible distress strapped to her seat as passengers exited the plane at Charlotte airport.

The woman was taken to hospital for evaluation after the flight landed safely at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, American Airlines said at the time. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police were also present upon landing, according to the airline.

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A woman on a July American Airlines flight to Charlotte has been fined more than $81,000 after punching, biting and pushing flight attendants. Melissa Melvin Rodriguez [email protected]

Increase in disruptive passengers

According to the FAA, reports of unruly passengers on airplanes increased significantly in 2021, often centering on alcohol consumption or mask complaints.

Last year, the FAA opened a record 1,099 investigations into reports of unruly passengers, compared to 183 in 2020 and 146 in 2019.

So far this year, the FAA has launched 309 investigations into unruly passenger reports.

Unruly passengers have always been part of a flight attendant’s job. But the situation has gotten worse, CLT-based flight attendants told the Observer last year.

In fact, the Federal Air Marshal Service teaches a self-defense class for airline crew members once a month at the agency’s field office in Charlotte.

“All of our work is to prepare for the worst-case scenario,” American Airlines flight attendant Courtney McDonald told the Observer in August 2021, as McDonald and other flight attendants learned strategies. of self-defense.

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Hannah Smoot covers business in Charlotte, focusing on health care, aviation and sports business. She has been covering COVID-19 in North Carolina since March 2020. She previously covered Money and Power at the Rock Hill Herald in South Carolina and is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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