Two arrested at Nashville airport after reportedly refusing to wear masks on separate flights

Two people were arrested at Nashville International Airport earlier this week after reportedly refusing to wear masks on their flights, USA Today reported.

One passenger on a Spirit Airlines flight Monday refused to wear a mask and called the flight crew "vulgar names," according to the arrest affidavit.

They were denied further travel with the airline and attempted to board an American Airlines flight at the Nashville airport the next day, where they once again refused to wear their mask, USA Today reported. They were arrested soon after.


The other passenger allegedly displayed "unruly" behavior after they were asked to wear a mask on a Southwest Airlines flight Tuesday and caused the plane to return to the gate, according to USA Today.

The passenger smelled of alcohol, was yelling obscenities and was aggressive toward officers before they were arrested, the affidavit showed.

"The safety and security of passengers, employees and guests is the utmost priority of Nashville International Airport," Nashville International Airport spokesperson Kym Gerlock told USA Today. "Working with our airline partners and adhering to the federal mask mandate, the airport’s Department of Public Safety is committed to carrying out that mission and is fully trained and equipped to do so." 

The incidents come as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said Thursday that it will be seeking more than $500,000 in fines from 34 passengers for "unruly behavior." The fines are part of the FAA'a zero-tolerance policy that it adopted earlier this year in light of a rise in reported incidents on flights.

The Biden administration announced this week that the federal mask mandate for all transportation networks will be extended through January.