Flood Watch
from FRI 11:00 AM MST until SAT 11:00 PM MST, Yavapai County Mountains, Little Colorado River Valley in Coconino County, Little Colorado River Valley in Navajo County, Little Colorado River Valley in Apache County, Eastern Mogollon Rim, White Mountains, Northern Gila County, Yavapai County Valleys and Basins, Oak Creek and Sycamore Canyons, Western Pima County including Ajo/Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Tohono O'odham Nation including Sells, Upper Santa Cruz River and Altar Valleys including Nogales, Tucson Metro Area including Tucson/Green Valley/Marana/Vail, South Central Pinal County including Eloy/Picacho Peak State Park, Southeast Pinal County including Kearny/Mammoth/Oracle, Upper San Pedro River Valley including Sierra Vista/Benson, Eastern Cochise County below 5000 ft including Douglas/Wilcox, Upper Gila River and Aravaipa Valleys including Clifton/Safford, White Mountains of Graham and Greenlee Counties including Hannagan Meadow, Galiuro and Pinaleno Mountains including Mount Graham, Chiricahua Mountains including Chiricahua National Monument, Dragoon/Mule/Huachuca and Santa Rita Mountains including Bisbee/Canelo Hills/Madera Canyon, Santa Catalina and Rincon Mountains including Mount Lemmon/Summerhaven, Baboquivari Mountains including Kitt Peak, Kofa, Central La Paz, Aguila Valley, Southeast Yuma County, Gila River Valley, Northwest Valley, Tonopah Desert, Gila Bend, Buckeye/Avondale, Cave Creek/New River, Deer Valley, Central Phoenix, North Phoenix/Glendale, New River Mesa, Scottsdale/Paradise Valley, Rio Verde/Salt River, East Valley, Fountain Hills/East Mesa, South Mountain/Ahwatukee, Southeast Valley/Queen Creek, Superior, Northwest Pinal County, West Pinal County, Apache Junction/Gold Canyon, Tonto Basin, Mazatzal Mountains, Pinal/Superstition Mountains, Sonoran Desert Natl Monument, San Carlos, Dripping Springs, Globe/Miami, Southeast Gila County

TSA, flight attendants prepared with self-defense training for unruly passengers during holiday travel

The holiday travel season is underway and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says a little more than two million passengers were screened on Dec. 16 alone, compared to nearly $850,000 people last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Travel officials continue to ask travelers to mask up, but flight crews are preparing for those so-called "unruly passengers."

A majority of unruly passenger incidents are mask-related, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Meaning the main issue crew members are facing is over a face covering, and the travel season is only ramping up.

TSA expects 21 million people to travel domestically and overseas this holiday season, which is a big increase from last year at this time.

"Crowded and lines and inconveniences," says Leah Blackman about what she anticipates this holiday season.

With way more people in the air, could we see more travelers breaking the rules?

"You have to think about the other person, about your fellow human," says Bruce Arter, who's traveling through Phoenix's Sky Harbor International Airport.

Some travelers may not agree – as we've seen in viral videos across the country. Punches, swinging, screaming and pointing.

"But I've heard of and seen some news clips of people acting irate and belligerent and attitudes and impatient," Blackman said.

There have been 5,664 unruly passenger incidents reported by airline crews in 2021 as of Dec. 14, the FAA says. 4,072 are mask-related incidents and 1,030 investigations have been initiated.

TSA crews and flight attendants are even taking self-defense classes to prepare for physical situations – something Blackman calls an unfortunate reality

"If I'm a flight attendant then I shouldn't have to now take training to protect myself against unruly passengers," she said.

Passengers who engage in unruly behavior can be fined or prosecuted. The FAA can propose up to $37,000 per violation.

More information about the FAA's zero-tolerance policy for unruly passengers can be found here.

Related Stories:

Tune in to FOX 10 Phoenix for the latest news: