NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There’s turbulence in the air as the Federal Aviation Administration sees a sharp increase in reports of unruly passengers.
Most travelers CBS2’s Cory James spoke with say when it comes to unruly passengers on planes, they have never experienced it firsthand.READ MORE: New York Relaxes Most COVID Restrictions After Reaching 70% Vaccination Rate: 'A Momentous Day'
“It disappoints me,” one person said.
“Everybody wants to do whatever they want,” another person said.
“As much as I fly, I would’ve thought … I would’ve witnessed more myself, but I’ve really never seen it,” said Rick Canas, of Phoenix, Arizona.
But Renisha Samuels, who does not fly often, says it has happened to her.
“I felt unsafe. What if she is about to do something crazy and we are up here in the air and I can’t get out, so what’s gonna happen?” she said.
The FAA has released new numbers that show since February, the agency has received approximately 1,300 unruly passenger reports.
Of those cases, 260 have been identified as potential violations, and enforcement action has been taken on nearly 20 of them.
“That is the reality of the world when it comes to aviation,” said Kristian Belton, who was a flight attendant for Delta Airlines for five years.
During her time in the air and on the ground, she says unruly passengers would come around “one out of every 30 flights in a week.”
Belton says she once had someone attack her over their suitcase not fitting in the overhead bin, similar to what happened on a Southwest flight bound for New York in April.READ MORE: Fireworks To Honor Essential Workers Tonight As New York Lifts Most COVID Restrictions
“He went off and the ending result was that he didn’t make it on that flight because there were two people who were in that conversation, and only one of us had to be there and it was me,” she said.
Sometimes they are arrested, like 28-year-old Chenasia Campbell.
Authorities say she punched a flight attendant mid-air last Sunday after her trash was not picked up on a flight from Miami to JFK.
“I didn’t hit a flight attendant,” Campbell said.
“You didn’t hit her?” James asked.
“Nope,” Campbell said.
“Then why are they are saying you did?” James asked.
CBS2 tried pressing her about the incident, but the Brooklyn woman kept walking to avoid our questions.
American Airlines, meanwhile, has banned her from any future flights.
An off-duty NYPD officer was on the plane that Campbell was on and restrained her until they landed.MORE NEWS: Red Cross Makes Urgent Plea For Blood Donations As Trauma Cases, Transplants, And Surgeries Increase
As for the flight attendant, a criminal complaint says she suffered bruises, scrapes and a strained neck. She did receive medical evaluation but refused additional treatment.