Federal Aviation Authority announced on Monday that the agency recommended a fine of $15,500 on an unruly passenger. This is part of the federal authority’s attempt to stop the increasing number of unruly passengers.
As of Monday, FAA announced that the agency already received 2,800 reports of unruly passengers since the start of the year. 75% of these cases involved passengers who refused to comply with the federal mask rules.
The steepest proposed fine involved a JetBlue passenger on February 5 flying from Florida to Las Vegas. FAA recommended a $15,500 penalty on the passenger. The passenger ignored flight attendants’ multiple requests to wear a mask that covers both nose and mouth. The passenger also drank small bottles of alcohol that didn’t come from the flight, which is also another violation.
Other cases announced by the FAA included a potential fine that could range from $7,500 to $10,500. One case is another JetBlue passenger who was allegedly disruptive after a flight attendant asked her to wear a mask. Then, there’s the Alaska flight passenger who refused to wear a mask and smoked an e-cigarette in the restroom. And lastly, you have a Southwest passenger who didn’t want to wear a mask.
All these incidents happened in February, a month after federal authorities announced stiffer penalties for unruly passengers. There is an existing zero-tolerance policy for passengers who refuse to cooperate onboard.
The recent travel rebound has its pros and cons. Though the recent uptick in travel demand has allowed airlines to recover from last year’s losses, airline employees are dealing with an increasing number of unruly passengers. In January, a passenger tried to open a cockpit door and assaulted a flight attendant in the process. The passenger was fined $52,000 for the incident.
And just last week, a Delta Air Lines flight from California to Georgia was unexpectedly diverted to Oklahoma due to an unruly passenger.