Section 46504 - Interference with flight crew members and attendants

5 Analyses of this statute by attorneys

  1. Leading Airline Advocacy Group Urges FAA to Take Greater Action to Curb Unruly Passenger Behavior

    Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLPBryant EngSeptember 28, 2021

    However, the FAA has received approximately 3,900 reports of unruly passenger behavior since January 2021 – more than 2,800 (or approximately 74% of reports) of which involved passengers refusing to wear a mask. In 2021, and amidst new pandemic-travel norms, the FAA has levied fines totaling more than $1 million, which is already its highest annual fine total ever.Unruly passenger behavior is governed by 49 U.S.C. § 46504, which prohibits assault or intimidation of a flight crewmember or attendant that interferes with the performance of a crewmember’s duties or lessens the ability of the crewmember to perform those duties. Any act that may place an ordinary, reasonable person in fear is sufficient to constitute an act of intimidation.

  2. Enter a Passenger, Leave a Felon: An Update On Airline Passenger Disturbances and Continuing Response and Crackdown

    Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLPJuly 5, 2022

    49 U.S.C. §46501(1))(A). Violations of 49 U.S.C. §46504 (Interference with Flight Crew Members and Attendants) occur when “[a]n individual on an aircraft in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States who, by assaulting or intimidating a flight crew member or flight attendant of the aircraft, interferes with the performance of the duties of the member or attendant or lessens the ability of the member or attendant to perform those duties…” Such violations can result in up to 20 years imprisonment and/or assessment of fines.If a dangerous weapon is used, a term of years or life imprisonment can be imposed. 18 U.S.C. §113 makes assault by striking and wounding in special aircraft jurisdiction punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment of up to a year.In one recent case, a passenger smelling strongly of alcohol pretended to shoot at passengers and shoved a flight attendant into a galley wall causing her to suffer injuries.

  3. Dear FAA DOT, TSA, DHS And DOJ . . .

    Fox Rothschild LLPMark DombroffAugust 4, 2021

    Interfering with the flight crew in the performance of their duties is a criminal offense. 49 USC §46504. Prosecute them and do so publicly!Recover the Costs of Delayed Flights!Disruptive passengers frequently cause costly flight delays or diversions.

  4. Court affirms conviction for in-flight assault intimidation of flight crewmember

    Federal Public Defender Office, District of New MexicoShari AllisonMarch 19, 2018

    U.S. v. Lynch, 2018 WL 706491 (10th Cir. 2/5/18) (Colo.) (published) - Affirmance of conviction of violating 49 U.S.C. 46504, which prohibits the in-flight assault or intimidation of a flight crew member or flight attendant that interferes with his or her duties. The court rejects Mr. Lynch's argument that the statute requires a specific mens rea because it finds nothing in the statutory language that requires more than the general intent that the conduct be voluntary and deliberate.

  5. 10th Circuit holds reduction of sentence does not restart habeas clock; affirms conviction for interfering with a flight crew; holds challenge to mandatory crime of violence sentencing guideline is untimely; re...

    Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark Law SchoolWilliam GaskillFebruary 11, 2018

    The panel noted it joined the three circuits to rule on the issue in rejecting Quary’s argument.United States v LynchLynch appealed his conviction for violating 49 USC 46504 and his sentence. The panel affirmed.