A Delta Airlines passenger who tried to open the cockpit door and hit a flight attendant is facing the largest proposed fine from the Federal Aviation Administration this year – a whopping $52,500.

The incident took place on December 23, 2020, during a flight from Honolulu to Seattle.

According to the agency, the offender attacked the flight attendant when he tried to restrain him. With the help of other passengers the man was restrained and placed into plastic cuffs. The passenger later managed to slip out of the handcuffs and punched the flight attendant in the face again.

“Federal law prohibits interfering with aircraft crew or physically assaulting or threatening to physically assault aircraft crew or anyone else on an aircraft,” the agency said.

The FAA said it had received more than 1,300 reports of unruly passengers since February 1. So far the agency initiated 27 enforcement actions.

According to the FAA, a passenger who faces a civil penalty for unruly behaviour have several options, including paying the full amount or contesting it.