FAA Plans $124,500 in Fines for ‘Unruly’ Passengers Who Assaulted Flight Attendants, Disobeyed Mask Instructions

By Anna Breuer on 24 June 2021
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The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration announced its latest fines for passengers behaving badly.

The agency said on Tuesday it was seeking a total of $124,500 in fines against eight unruly passengers.  The agency has announced fines in excess of $560,000 for such passengers since the start of the year.

Face masks have been mandatory on flights since shortly after the inauguration of President Joseph Biden, who signed an executive order to address the issue. Previously, airlines and airports in the United States all mandated masks for employees and travelers.

The individual fines range from $9,000 to $22,000.  A passenger on a SkyWest flight on February 15 from Denver to Gypsum, Colorado will be assessed a $22,000 fine after he repeatedly ignored instructions to wear his mask, walked through the cabin to the lavatory while the fasten-seat-belt sign was illuminated, and drank alcohol that he had brought on board himself.

Meanwhile, a passenger on a Southwest Airlines flight on February 22 from Dallas/Fort Worth to Albuquerque refused to don his face mask after repeatedly being told to do so by cabin crew and the captain during boarding.  He reportedly used a bandana over his face but then removed it and was provided with a new mask by a Southwest employee.  After the plane pushed back, he removed the face mask and the captain returned the aircraft to the gate.  A customer service supervisor then boarded the plane to escort him off, and the passenger, according to the police report, threw the mask at the supervisor, hit him in the jaw, and continued to refuse to wear the mask.  He was arrested by Dallas police and charged with assault.

In another interesting case, a $15,000 fine will be levied against a passenger on an Alaska Airlines flight from Chantilly, Virginia, to Seattle during which the aforementioned passenger reportedly assaulted a flight attendant by pushing or shoving him when he reached the passenger’s row to document mask compliance.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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