Who is Heather Wells? U.S. Woman Duct-Taped for Mid-Air Mayhem Faces FAA Lawsuit After Failing to Pay Record $81,950 Fine

A disruptive American Airlines passenger, Heather Wells, 34, of San Antonio, has been fined $81,950 by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This is the largest-ever fine imposed by the FAA for unruly behavior. Wells is now facing legal action from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for not paying $81,950 fine. Her dangerous behavior on American Airlines Flight 1774 from Dallas to Charlotte on July 6-7, 2021

Heather Wells

On July 7, 2021, Wells was flying first class from Dallas-Fort Worth to Charlotte, North Carolina. About an hour into the flight, after consuming whiskey, she became agitated and demanded to "get out" of the plane. She then ran to the back of the plane, dropped to her knees, and began talking incoherently before crawling back to the main cabin.

When a flight attendant approached her, Wells became verbally aggressive and threatened to harm him. She then pushed the attendant and tried to grab the cabin door while screaming profanities. Two flight attendants and a passenger managed to restrain her with duct tape and flex cuffs, but she continued to kick, spit, and attempt to bite.

The captain decided to proceed to Charlotte, where law enforcement awaited the plane's arrival. Upon landing, Wells continued her violent behavior, breaking a seat before being sedated and removed from the aircraft.

In a statement to KENS 5 in San Antonio, Wells apologized, attributing her actions to mental health issues and expressing deep remorse. She stated she was kept in a hospital for observation post-incident and does not have legal representation.

The FAA's lawsuit cites fines for her violent conduct towards crew and passengers, her attempt to open the cabin door, and interference with crew duties, totaling $81,950. These fines stem from the FAA's zero-tolerance policy on unruly passengers.

Reports of such incidents have significantly decreased since the policy's implementation, with nearly 6,000 cases in 2021 dropping to 885 cases so far this year. The FAA continues to warn against bad behavior as summer travel begins.