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The FAA is proposing big fines for three passengers who allegedly disrupted flights recently.
Earlier this year, (the week after the Capitol riot) the Federal Aviation Administration adopted a stricter unruly flyer policy.
They tweeted back in January:
“FAA Administrator Steve Dickson signed an order directing the agency to take strong action against any passenger who disrupts or threatens the safety of a flight, with penalties ranging from fines to jail time. No warnings!”
They reportedly decided to go with stricter penalties after a “disturbing” increase in incidents where passengers have disrupted flights with threats or violent behavior.
“These incidents have stemmed both from passengers’ refusals to wear masks and from recent violence at the U.S. Capitol,” the FAA said.
And now they are proposing some big fines.
On January 4, on a JetBlue flight from Haiti to Boston a man got drunk and began yelling and grabbing flight attendants. The crew moved nearby passengers and arranged for the man to be arrested when the plane landed. The FAA proposed a $31,750 fine against the man.
The FAA is also seeking a $16,750 penalty against another passenger on the same flight. This man was allegedly also drunk and began shouting obscenities and making threatening gestures to a flight attendant.
And there is a third man who was on a flight from Yuma, Arizona to Dallas Fort Worth.
This guy drank multiple mini bottles of his own alcohol and was bothering passengers and at one point made his way toward the front of the plane until two off-duty law enforcement officers wrestled him back into his seat.
I would imagine that some of these outbursts are in part coming from general frustrations regarding the pandemic and also the frustrations related to covid restrictions such as being forced to wear a mask.
People are still just generally more on edge than they were before the pandemic.
These fines are being proposed but passengers have 30 days to respond to the FAA enforcement letters.
I’m not clear on what the process entails but one thing is pretty clear right now: this is not the time to act like a jack ass on a plane.
Also, if you were planning on bringing alcohol on a plane make sure you know the rules and regulations surrounding that.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.