Story at a glance

  • The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced it will seek fines totalling $20,000 against two airline passengers who interfered with and ignored the instructions of flight crews amid a surge of combative in-flight behavior from passengers, which resulted in a zero-tolerance policy.
  • The FAA is pursuing a $10,500 fine against a passenger who ignored mask regulations, before coughing and blowing his nose into a blanket on a jetBlue flight.
  • A man on a different jetBlue flight in March allegedly “yelled, slammed overhead bins, and shouted profanities at the cabin crew” while boarding.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced it will seek fines totaling $20,000 against two airline passengers who interfered with and ignored the instructions of flight crews amid a surge of combative in-flight behavior from passengers, which resulted in a zero-tolerance policy. 

The FAA is pursuing a $10,500 fine against a passenger who ignored mask regulations, before coughing and blowing his nose into a blanket on a jetBlue flight. 

Another man on a different jetBlue flight in March allegedly “yelled, slammed overhead bins, and shouted profanities at the cabin crew,” while boarding. The man also threatened to “harass the flight attendant during the entire flight.” The administration is seeking a $9,000 fine.


America is changing faster than ever! Add Changing America to your Facebook or Twitter feed to stay on top of the news.


A zero-tolerance policy was implemented in January after a surge in disruptive behavior that stemmed from “passengers’ refusals to wear masks” and “violence at the U.S. Capitol.”

“Passengers who interfere with, physically assault, or threaten to physically assault aircraft crew or anyone else on an aircraft face stiff penalties, including fines of up to $35,000 and imprisonment,” a statement announcing the policy said. “This dangerous behavior can distract, disrupt, and threaten crew members’ safety functions.”

The new cases follow a recent FAA announcement that it is seeking fines between $9,000 and $32,750 for four people on various airlines for allegedly interfering with and, in two cases, assaulting flight attendants

Prior to the zero-tolerance policy, the FAA would use various methods to address unruly passengers including counseling and warnings. The new guidelines state the agency will move straight to fines. 

“It is not permissible and we will not tolerate interfering with a flight crew and the performance of their safety duties,” Stephen Dickson, the administrator of the FAA, said. “Period.”

The agency said it has received 1,300 complaints regarding disruptive passengers over the last decade. 


READ MORE STORIES FROM CHANGING AMERICA


CDC PREDICTS A SURGE IN COVID-19 CASES THROUGH MAY THANKS TO VARIANTS

COVID-RECOVERED PEOPLE MAY ONLY NEED ONE DOSE OF PFIZER OR MODERNA VACCINES

CDC GIVES NEW MASK GUIDANCE FOR OUTDOORS AND INDOORS

CDC INVESTIGATING NEW REPORTS OF BLOOD CLOT CASES LINKED TO J&J VACCINE

SOME US VACCINATION SITES ARE SHUTTING DOWN BECAUSE UNVACCINATED PEOPLE AREN’T WILLING TO GET THEIR SHOTS

Published on May 11, 2021