It’s not just flight attendants dealing with unruly passengers: airport security face assaults too, the TSA said. One passenger is accused of biting 2 TSA officers, and faces a $14,000 fine.

Airline passengers wait in line at an airport security checkpoint
The TSA has said it could pursue criminal charges against passengers who assault its officers. Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
  • An airline passenger has been accused of biting two airport safety officers in Denver.
  • A passenger in Kentucky is accused of assaulting two safety officers, and faces criminal charges, the TSA said.
  • Reports of unruly passengers, many relating to mask mandates, have hit record levels.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

An airline passenger in Denver stands accused of biting two federal security officers, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said.

The federal agency, which is responsible for airport security, said the passenger faced a fine of up to $13,910.

The TSA said in a press release on Thursday that the case had been referred to law enforcement. It said the alleged incident happened earlier in June, but didn’t say at which airport.

The TSA also said that a passenger in Louisville, Kentucky, is accused of attacking two of its security officers while trying to jump an exit lane. The passengers faced the same $13,910 fine, it said, in addition to state criminal charges on four counts: criminal trespass, fleeing and evading police, misdemeanor assault, and resisting arrest.

Flight attendants told Insider earlier in June that they were burned out from dealing with aggressive passengers. The Federal Aviation Administration has recorded more than 3,000 cases of unruly traveler behavior in 2021 so far, and is investigating a record number of incidents.

In Thursday’s release, The TSA said that it would restart self-defense training, which it paused during the pandemic, for its officers and flight attendants to prevent assaults.

The agency “may pursue criminal charges and a civil penalty up to the maximum allowable by law,” for unruly passengers, it said.

“Passengers do not arrive at an airport or board a plane with the intent of becoming unruly or violent,” Darby LaJoye, acting TSA administrator, said in the press release.

“However, what is an exciting return to travel for some may be a more difficult experience for others, which can lead to unexpected, and unacceptable, behaviors.”