Outrigger Hotels and Resorts

Published on Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Mask disputes fuel 500 per cent surge in air rage incidents

Unruly behavior and disturbances on flights have surged a massive 500% this year, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

Since January 1 the agency has received 3,509 unruly passenger reports, with a majority - 2,605 - caused due to a refusal to wear a mask.

In addition, the Transportation Security Administration told a U.S. House panel hearing that 85 physical assaults were perpetrated on its TSA screeners since the beginning of the pandemic.

The TSA said disturbances rose from a rate of 2 incidents per 1 million screened in 2019 to 12 per 1 million in 2021.

"TSA has unfortunately seen an increase in unruly passengers at TSA checkpoints across the country and onboard aircraft," TSA Executive Assistant Administrator for Security Operations Darby LaJoye told the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Transportation and Maritime Security.

Before the pandemic, in 2019, there were 1,230 in-flight disturbances.

"This shows a dramatic increase in the number of incidents onboard aircraft, which occur for a variety of reasons, many of which are mask-related, frequently leading to agitated passengers who at times have become violent towards fellow passengers and the flight crew."

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