TSA gives guidelines to spring break travelers: be ‘respectful’

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The Transportation Safety Agency is issuing a vital warning to airline passengers as it prepares for the typical spring break rush: be respectful.

Air traffic has increased steadily over the past few months, even surpassing Christmas holiday peaks on some travel days. Throughout March, the TSA expects travel volume to remain high, with average daily passenger traffic exceeding 90% of pre-pandemic levels.

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As a result, the TSA said it was working to keep the public safe and even published a list of tips “for the fastest and most efficient TSA checkpoint experience possible.”

A TSA agent wears a mask and gloves amid the global coronavirus outbreak, at Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts, March 11, 2020. (Reuters/Brian Snyder/Reuters Pictures)

“We are prepared and ready for a busy spring, and are doing our part to keep the traveling public safe by continuing to deploy new checkpoint technologies that improve security, reduce physical contact and improve the travel experience” , said the administrator of the TSA. David Pekoske said in a statement.

However, Pekoske implored travelers to “do their part” to ensure the travel process remains smooth, especially for airline crews.

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“We’re just asking travelers to do their part by being respectful of each other and those who work in the transportation industry – from our officers to airport employees and flight crew,” he said in the statement. a statement.

The number of flight disruptions began to rise in January 2021, forcing the FAA to enact tougher penalties for passengers who assault, threaten, intimidate, or interfere with airline crew members.

Under the FAA zero tolerance policy, violators face fines of up to $37,000 per violation. However, if a passenger commits multiple violations, they may face an even heavier penalty.

Although the number of cases has decreased significantly, a wave of unruly air passengers has still been reported across the country since then. In some cases, the unruly behavior has forced flights to divert or even turn back.

Main terminal at Denver International Airport on August 24, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski/AP Newsroom)

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So far this year, more than 800 cases of unruly passengers have already been reported.

In 2021, a total of 5,981 incidents were reported to the FAA. The majority of reported cases, about 4,290, were mask-related, according to FAA data. The agency opened investigations into 1,116 of those cases and initiated enforcement action in 350 of them, meaning the FAA was in the process of issuing fines to those passengers.

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To date, the agency has referred a total of 80 unruly passenger cases to the FBI for possible criminal prosecution. Although the FAA has the ability to issue large fines to unruly passengers, it cannot prosecute them.

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