United States

U.S. inflight disturbances jump 500%, 85 TSA officers assaulted - agency

1 minute read

A traveler walks past a Christmas tree as he makes his way through the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., December 22, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

WASHINGTON, July 20 (Reuters) - U.S. federal agencies are dealing with a rising number of unruly airline passengers on increasingly crowded airplanes, including thousands who have refused to wear masks.

The Federal Aviation Administration said Tuesday that since Jan. 1 it has received 3,509 unruly passenger reports, including 2,605 refusing to wear a mask. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) told a U.S. House panel Tuesday that since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic there have been over 85 physical assaults on TSA officers.

The TSA says inflight disturbances have risen from 2 incidents per 1 million screened in 2019 to 12 per 1 million in 2021.

The rising numbers of incidents come as U.S. air travel has hit a post February 2020 high as more Americans get vaccinated.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Andrea Ricci

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

More from Reuters