Passenger Ordered to Pay American Airlines Nearly $40K for Disrupting Flight with Profanity, Threatening Crew

Authorities said the crew “was unable to continue their duties” as a result of the disturbance on a 2022 flight from Phoenix to Honolulu



A woman from Hawaii was ordered to pay nearly $40,000 to American Airlines for causing a disruption on a flight last year.

Cayla Farris, 29, was sentenced to 3.6 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised probation, in addition to paying $38,952 in restitution to the airline, according to a press release from the US Attorney's Office in the District of Arizona.

The release states that Farris “used profanity and threatened the flight crew and passengers onboard” during a flight from Phoenix to Honolulu on Feb, 13, 2022. The crew “was unable to continue their duties” as a result of the disturbance, and the captain chose to return to Phoenix. As a result, several other flights had to be rerouted to Hawaii.

<p>Robert Alexander/Getty </p>

Robert Alexander/Getty

Farris pleaded guilty to interference with a flight crew member on Sept. 12, 2023.

Related: Woman Hit with Largest FAA Fine Ever After Allegedly Threatening, Assaulting Flight Attendant

Under United States District Judge Susan M. Brnovich’s sentence, Farris will not be permitted to travel by commercial aircraft without prior approval during her probation.

American Airlines and Farris’ attorneys did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s requests for comment.

Unruly passengers on flights have been ordered to pay even larger fines.

Alex Tai/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty
Alex Tai/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty

A passenger aboard a July 2021 American Airlines flight from Dallas-Fort Worth to Charlotte was fined $81,950 by the Federal Aviation Administration, the FAA’s largest fine in history. The woman had allegedly pushed a flight attendant and attempted to open a cabin door.

Related: FAA Orders 'Zero Tolerance' for Disruptive Passengers After Several Incidents on D.C. Flights

The FAA also issued a $77,272 fine to another female passenger who — while flying on July 16, 2021, on a Delta Air Lines flight from Las Vegas to Atlanta — "attempted to hug and kiss the passenger seated next to her; walked to the front of the aircraft to try to exit during flight; refused to return to her seat; and bit another passenger multiple times."

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U.S. Transportation Sec. Pete Buttigieg announced both fines while appearing on The View in April 2022, saying, "If you are on an airplane, don't be a jerk and don't endanger the flight crews and fellow passengers. If you do, you will be fined by the FAA."

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