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More than 3,000 unruly airline passengers reported this year: FAA

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More than 3,000 unruly airplane passengers have been reported this year, according to the FAA. Yahoo Finance’s Akiko Fujita and Zack Guzman discuss.

Video Transcript

AKIKO FUJITA: Well, the Federal Aviation Administration says things are getting out of control in the skies, Zack, the FAA saying 3,000 passengers have been reported for unruly behavior on board airlines so far this year. No surprise 2,300 of those reports had to do with a failure to comply with federal requirements on mask mandates. And the FAA says they're going to start cracking down on this.

We've both been flying throughout the pandemic. I don't know if you've witnessed that kind of behavior on board these flights. But I can't say I'm surprised. 3,000 seems like a pretty low number when you think about the amount of incidents we have seen on board with passengers sort of fighting the rules, not wanting to wear masks. And then a lot of flight attendants are trying to jump in.

ZACK GUZMAN: Yeah, and I mean, we've talked a lot about the problem that was going to get worse here when we think about the CDC changing their guidelines around mask wearing, but also the fact that they were still in place for airports and flights. And that was added pressure for flight attendants. It's a job I think a lot of people don't envy right now in the pandemic, when you about the pressure they're facing.

Sara Nelson, who's been on the show before, with the Association of Flight Attendants Labor Union talked about how it's getting out of control. And it's an added thing that flight attendants shouldn't have to deal with when they're on the front lines and fearful were kind of the reaction that we've been hearing from a few of them, just talking about how it's just not worth it. And they don't want to go to work to have to deal with that.

And you wonder what it says about us, really, I mean, to not wear a mask on a plane or just the reactions we've seen. And some of them have turned lethal. We've seen people in stores react and killing people trying to institute the face mask laws and stuff. So I mean, I don't know. I don't know what it says about us, Akiko.

I think it says more about the way that people just don't want to follow these rules anymore. But clearly, you know, it's a problem, luckily, hopefully, one that will be going away when we get back to normal.

AKIKO FUJITA: Yeah, I mean, that's a good point. We're talking about airlines right now. But obviously, this isn't something that's just confined to the airspace, just public transportation in general, certainly something that has come into question in terms of the mask wearing too. It's going to be interesting to see how the FAA enforces, though.

They said they have identified potential violations of federal rules in 465 of those 3,000 cases reported so far. And they've begun enforcement action in 57 cases. So we're going to be watching that to see how far they can go in terms of enforcing of these fines.

And maybe that's the way to go. Once you've got the fines in place, a lot of people are going to look at that and say, OK, maybe I need to wear my mask, even if it's just for a few hours, because that's what the guideline calls for.

ZACK GUZMAN: Yeah, $52,000 fine, the largest one that I saw through that, and that CNN report talking about it. That's that serious cash. That's one that will make to put your mask back on. But it's also one-- I mean, there's a lot of these that don't have to do with masks.

I mean, obviously, the incidents like this on planes happened before masks were a thing. And you just have people kind of, whether they're drinking or whatnot, they kind of get into this. But that is a serious amount. $52,000 I think will give people pause to remember, all right, I shouldn't act like a fool on these planes out here. But hopefully, we see less of that.