FAA proposes $125K in civil penalties for 8 unruly passengers
WASHINGTON (KLKN) — The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes nearly $125,000 in civil penalties against eight passengers accused of interfering with flight attendants.
This would bring the total proposed penalties for 2021 to more than $560,000. The FAA has recorded about 3,100 unruly passengers this year alone. Most revolved around the masking policy.
The eight cases announced include violations like assaulting flight crew, drinking alcohol brought onto a plane, and refusing to wear a facemask.
These enforcement actions are a part of the FAA’s zero-tolerance policy for unruly passengers.
Below is a breakdown of the eight cases:
- A $22,000 penalty has been proposed against a SkyWest passenger on a flight from Denver to Gypsum, Colorado on Feb. 15. The FAA alleges the passenger repeatedly ignored the flight attendants’ instructions to wear a mask, walked to the bathroom while the seatbelt sign was on, and drank alcohol the flight did not serve.
- A $21,000 penalty has been proposed against a Southwest passenger on a flight from Dallas, TX to Albuquerque, N.M. on Feb. 22. The FAA alleges the passenger refused to wear his facemask. He placed a bandana over his face but later removed it. A Southwest customer service supervisor reportedly provided a mask for the passenger to wear, but he removed it after a short time. As a result, he was escorted off the plane. The passenger allegedly threw the masks at his escort, hit him in the jaw, and still refused to wear a mask while exiting the plane. Dallas police then detained and issued the passenger a citation for assault.
- A $19,000 penalty has been proposed against a SkyWest passenger on a flight from Phoenix, AZ to Hermosillo, MX on Jan. 20. The FAA alleges the passenger became angry when flight crews announced they needed to return to Phoenix due to unfavorable weather in Mexico. The passenger reportedly began hitting the ceiling of the aircraft. A flight attendant confronted him once they landed. The passenger then asked for the flight crews’ names and began filming them on his cell phone. When leaving the plane, the passenger stood up and hit another passenger in the right shoulder. Law enforcement was called to escort him off the aircraft.
- A $15,000 penalty has been proposed against an Alaska Airlines passenger on a flight from Chantilly, VA to Seattle, WA. The FAA alleges that while a flight attendant was taking note of who was not wearing a mask, the passenger assaulted them by pushing the flight attendant when they reached his row.
- A $14,000 penalty has been proposed against an Allegiant Air passenger on a flight from Syracuse, N.Y. to Lauderdale, FL on Jan. 21. The FAA alleges the passenger drank alcohol the flight did not serve. Consequently, the alcohol was confiscated. The passenger is then accused of shouting profanities at flight attendants and other passengers and refusing to wear a mask.
- A $14,000 penalty has been proposed against an Endeavor Airlines passenger on a flight from New York City, N.Y., to Portland, ME on Feb. 25. The FAA alleges the passenger wouldn’t wear her mask properly. A flight attendant also gave her a Notice of U.S. Federal Regulation Violation.
- A $10,500 penalty has been proposed against a Southwest passenger on a flight from Los Angeles to Sacramento, CA on Feb. 25. The FAA alleges the passenger was not wearing their mask and was talking on the phone prior to take off. After crew members asked him to mask up and turn off his phone, he began to use profanity. As a result, the captain returned the flight to the gate and had the passenger escorted off the plane.
- A $9,000 penalty has been proposed against an Allegiant Air passenger on a flight from Greensboro, N.C. to St. Petersburg, FL on Feb. 19. The FAA alleges the passenger refused to wear his mask despite repeated instructions. The organization says he loudly argued with flight crews and began to unbuckle his seat belt to “get into it and get to the bottom of this” with the flight attendant. The passenger also began photographing and recording other passengers.