Statement from A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio on FAA Unruly Passenger Order

WASHINGTON, January 13, 2021 – Today, FAA Administrator Steve Dickson announced “a stricter legal enforcement policy against unruly airline passengers in the wake of recent, troubling incidents,” sending a strong message that disruptive, threatening or violent behavior will not be tolerated. A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio issued the following statement in support of the order:

“The safety and security of passengers and employees is always the top priority of the U.S. airline industry, and we welcome the FAA’s order to implement a more stringent policy regarding unruly passenger behavior. We cannot have any form of dangerous behavior that threatens the safety of passengers and crewmembers.”

“We are grateful for the strong leadership of FAA Administrator Stephen Dickson and his unwavering commitment to aviation safety.”

The FAA clearly stated that it will pursue legal enforcement action against “any passenger who assaults, threatens, intimidates, or interferes with airline crew members.” They will no longer issue warnings for such behavior. Penalties include fines up to $35,000 and imprisonment.

The order takes place immediately and will be in effect through March 30, 2021.


Airlines for America (A4A) members are Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Atlas Air, Delta Air Lines, FedEx, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and UPS. Air Canada is an associate member.

A4A advocates on behalf of the leading U.S. airlines, both passenger and cargo carriers. A4A works collaboratively with industry stakeholders, federal agencies, the Administration, Congress, labor and other groups to improve aviation for the traveling and shipping public.

For more information about the airline industry, visit our website and our blog, A Better Flight Plan, at

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