The Federal Aviation Administration says an unnamed Delta Airlines passenger faces a $52,500 fine for allegedly hitting a flight attendant twice on a flight back in December.
According to the FAA, the passenger attempted to get into the cockpit of an airplane heading for Seattle from Honolulu on Dec. 23.
In the process, the passenger allegedly hit the flight attendant in the face and pushed him down.
The passenger was restrained by crew members and another passenger and put into plastic handcuffs. He then broke free from them and allegedly struck the flight attendant in the face again.
After the flight landed, police boarded the aircraft and took the passenger into custody.
In January, the FAA put a zero-tolerance policy toward passengers who cause disturbances on flights or fail to obey flight crew instructions in violation of the FAA’s regulations or engage in conduct proscribed by federal law.
The FAA says they've received 1,300 reports this year from airlines regarding unruly passengers. Typically they receive 100 to 150 complaints.
The FAA also fined a Southwest passenger $27,000 after he stated on the Jan. 1 flight from Phoenix to Chicago that he had a bomb and was going to blow up the flight.
Another passenger on a Feb. 5 jetBlue flight from Ft. Lauderdale to Las Vegas was fined $18,500 to drink his personal alcohol on the flight and improperly wear his face mask.
An Allegiant Air passenger flying from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., to Knoxville, Tenn. was fined $9,000 for cursing at flight attendants for not wearing her mask.
"Federal law prohibits interfering with aircraft crew or physically assaulting or threatening to physically assault aircraft crew or anyone else on an aircraft," the FAA said. "Passengers are subject to civil penalties because such misconduct can threaten the safety of the flight by disrupting or distracting cabin crew from their safety duties. Additionally, federal law provides for criminal fines and imprisonment of passengers who interfere with the performance of a crewmember’s duties by assaulting or intimidating that crewmember."
The FAA says the passengers have 30 days to respond.