TSA gives guidelines for spring break travelers: Be 'respectful'

FOX Business Flash top headlines for March 11

Here are your FOX Business Flash top headlines for March 11.

The Transportation Security 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 in recent months, even surpassing the highs of the Christmas holidays season on certain travel days. Throughout March, the TSA projects that travel volume will remain elevated, with the average daily passenger traffic surpassing 90% of pre-pandemic levels.

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As a result, the TSA said it's working to ensure the public is safe and even issued a list of tips "for the fastest and most efficient TSA checkpoint experience possible." 

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

"We are prepared and ready for a busy spring, and are doing our part to ensure the traveling public is safe and secure by continuing to deploy new technologies within the checkpoint that enhance security, reduce physical contact and improve the traveling experience," TSA administrator David Pekoske said in a statement. 

However, Pekoske implored travelers to "do their part" in making sure the travel process remains smooth — especially for airline crews.

AIR TRAVEL VOLUME REACHES HIGHEST LEVEL SINCE NOVEMBER 2021

"We just ask travelers to do their part by being respectful to each other and those who work in the transportation sector – from our officers to airport workers and flight crew," he said in a statement. 

The number of disruptions on flights began to spike in January 2021, forcing the FAA to adopt stricter penalties for passengers who assault, threaten, intimidate or interfere with airline crew members. 

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

Although the number of cases has significantly dropped, there has still been an onslaught of unruly airline passengers reported around the country since then. In some cases, the unruly behavior forced flights to divert or even turn around. 

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

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So far this year, there have already been over 800 reported cases of unruly passengers. 

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

FAA SAYS NEARLY 6,000 UNRULY AIRLINE PASSENGERS REPORTED IN 2021 

To date, the agency has sent a total of 80 unruly-passenger cases to the FBI for possible criminal prosecution. Although the FAA has the ability to propose hefty fines against unruly passengers, it can't prosecute them.

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