air rage

DOJ Wants Prosecutors to Prioritize ‘Air Rage' Cases

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The Federal Aviation Administration reported another increase in unruly passenger incidents on planes as air travel hits pandemic highs.

In a memo from the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. attorney general asked prosecutors to prioritize such cases and move swiftly on reports of so-called “air rage” incidents.

As of this week, there have been more than 5,300 incidents in the skies so far this year -- an increase by orders of magnitude from prior years when only hundreds had been reported.

The FAA’s data shows a similar spike in disputes about masks aboard flights, potentially fueling the outbursts.

At a summer congressional hearing, the head of the nation’s flight attendants union urged the Justice Department to take a tough line against passengers who commit the crimes.

“We need to make it clear to the public about the seriousness of this, of these disruptions in the air and how it can have such a dramatic impact on the safety and security of our air travel,” said Sara Nelson of the Association of Flight Attendants.

A recent News4 I-Team investigation found some of the most recent local incidents involved passengers who were intoxicated, including a woman prosecuted in federal court in Virginia who was allegedly found with a half empty bottle of vodka during an incident aboard a flight to Dulles International Airport.

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