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FAA Proposes Over $67,000 in Fines for Badly Behaved Flyers

As part of their extension of the “zero tolerance” policy, the Federal Aviation Administration will pursue a total of $67,250 in fines against four flyers who allegedly interfered with, did not comply with, or attacked flight crews. The four cases range in accusations from refusing to wear face coverings, to getting into physical fights with attendants.

The Federal Aviation Administration is proposing a grand total of $67,250 in fines against four flyers who were allegedly involved in altercations with flight crews. In a press release, the agency announced each case could face fines ranging from $9,000 to $32,750, based on their level of aggression.

Accusations Range from Facemask Violations to Assaulting Flight Attendants

In each of the four cases, flyers are accused of being on their worst behavior for a variety of reasons. The highest proposed fine of $32,750 is against a passenger aboard a JetBlue flight from the Dominican Republic to New York on Feb. 7, 2021. During the flight, the individual is accused of refusing to wear a face mask, drank alcohol which was not served to her, and throwing food and beverage bottles in the cabin. The situation escalated to the flyer shouting obscenities at the flight crew and grabbing an attendant’s arm. The flight was returned to the Dominican Republic, where the flyer was removed.

The second highest fine of $16,500 is proposed against a Southwest Airlines passenger boarding a flight from Chicago to Sacramento, California on Jan. 26, 2021. During the process, the passenger was asked multiple times to wear a face covering, to which he allegedly responded by being combative and using abusive language. When he was asked to leave the aircraft, the altercation ended when he supposedly called the flight attendants “pathetic” and hitting one of them with his bags.

The final two cases have lesser fines of $9,000, for less severe disruptions. One happened on a Delta Air Lines flight from Minneapolis to Philadelphia on Dec. 22, 2020. During takeoff, a flyer is accused of getting up from her seat and repeatedly saying she wanted to get off the aircraft. The flight was forced to return to Minneapolis to remove the passenger. The other case took place on an Alaska Airlines flight on Jan. 30, 2021. On a flight departing from Bozeman, Montana to Seattle, a passenger was repeatedly asked to wear a face covering. After reportedly failing to do so, the aircraft returned to the gate to remove the flyer.

New Case Penalties Come as FAA Sees Record Number of Incidents

The four proposed fines are introduced as the FAA is asking the public to stop disruptive behavior aboard flights and allow flight crews to do their work safely. So far in 2021, the agency has taken over 1,300 reports of major incidents aboard flights – an increase of over 800 percent compared to a typical year.

cmd320 May 6, 2021

Will this penalty also be extended to poorly behaved airline personnel?