FAA threatens unruly fliers with stiff fines, jail time; calls escalate to add Capitol rioters to no-fly list

The Federal Aviation Administration has issued a stern warning to the flying public following President Donald Trump supporters’ Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol and incidents on multiple airlines on the way to and from Washington, D.C.

“Federal law prohibits you from physically assaulting or threatening to physically assault the crew, and anyone else, on an aircraft,” the FAA said in a tweet over the weekend. “You could be subject to fines of up to $35K and imprisonment for such conduct.”

Alaska Airlines spokesman Ray Lane said a number of passengers on Thursday’s nearly-full Flight 1085 from Washington Dulles International were “non-mask compliant, rowdy, argumentative and harassed our crew members” on the five-hour flight to Seattle. As a result, 14 of them are now banned from flying Alaska as long as its pandemic mask policy is in place.

Alaska wasn’t the only airline with issues on flights out of Washington after the riot. Delta Air Lines removed two “unruly” passengers flying from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport to Minneapolis on Friday afternoon, spokesman Morgan Durrant told USA TODAY.

On Friday, an American Airlines pilot flying from Washington to Phoenix went viral with his threat to “put the plane down in the middle of Kansas and dump people off” if the Trump supporters on board did not behave.

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