Delta Passenger Fined $27,500 After Hitting Flight Attendant in Mask Dispute

By Kurt Stolz on 27 February 2021
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A passenger who struck a flight attendant on a Delta Air Lines flight in October now faces a fine of $27,500 for her actions.

The incident, which took place on October 19, 2020, involved a passenger who was traveling with and sitting next to another passenger who refused to wear his mask, fasten his seat belt, and put up his seat tray table after being told to do so by a crew member.  As a result, the flight returned to the gate and passengers began to deplane.

The passenger traveling with the non-compliant passenger refused to heed the flight attendant’s instructions to get off the plane, began yelling expletives

A video taken by another passenger shows the flight attendant with her back to the camera and a maskless passenger arguing with her face to face.  The passenger then strikes the flight attendant with her first.

“I’m gonna knock your ass out,” the woman says, as her mask continues to dangle around her chin.

Delta issued a statement supporting the actions of its crew members at the time of the incident.

“There is nothing more important than the safety of our people and customers,” the airline said.  “That’s why two customers who did not comply with crew safety instructions were asked to deplane Flight 1997 this evening. We do not tolerate violence of any kind and this situation is currently under investigation. We apologize to customers for the flight delay this caused.”

At the time of the incident, the airline required passengers to wear masks in order to fly.

In addition, “Federal law prohibits interfering with aircraft crew or physically assaulting or threatening to physically assault aircraft crew or anyone else on an aircraft,” the FAA said in a statement.   “Passengers are subject to civil penalties for such misconduct, which can threaten the safety of the flight by disrupting or distracting cabin crew from their safety duties. Additionally, federal law provides for criminal fines and imprisonment of passengers who interfere with the performance of a crewmember’s duties by assaulting or intimidating that crewmember.”

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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