As the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and airline crews around North America continue to deal with unruly passenger behavior, the TSA is continuing to explore its enforcement options.
The TSA late last month announced that passengers who cause issues onboard airplanes could soon lose their TSA PreCheck credentials. In a joint statement with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the TSA announced that “passengers facing fines for unruly behavior” may have their PreCheck eligibility removed by the TSA.
“TSA has zero tolerance for the unruly behaviors, especially those involving physical assault occurring aboard aircraft. We have tremendous respect for airport staff, gate agents, and flight crews that get people safely to their destinations,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “This partnership with FAA will help ensure the safety and security of all passengers and hold those who violate federal regulations accountable for their actions.”
“If you act out of line, you will wait in line,” FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said. “Our partnership aims to promote safe and responsible passenger behavior. One unruly incident is one too many.”
The statement said that the FAA, which has the responsibility to charge and fine passengers who misbehave in the air, will now start sharing the names and information of those passengers with the TSA, which will then decide whether or not to remove PreCheck eligibility.
The news comes as the FAA and TSA continue to deal with an increasing number of incidents in the air. 2021 FAA fines exceeded more than $1 million across 3,889-plus incidents in the sky. About 75% of those incidents have come from passengers refusing to comply with the federal face mask mandate.
The FAA has taken extraordinary steps to try and get passengers to comply with the new COVID-19 rules, including a marketing campaign that asked passengers to treat airplanes like a trip to grandma’s house.