Passenger on flight from Provo fined $10.5K for not wearing mask

Photo courtesy: Food & Drug Administration

PROVO, Utah, July 8, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — The Federal Aviation Administration has fined a passenger on a Feb. 27 Allegiant Air flight from Provo to Mesa, Arizona, $10,500 for not wearing a mask.

“The FAA alleges the passenger refused to wear his face mask over his mouth and nose throughout the flight,” said a news release. “Flight attendants instructed him seven separate times to wear his face mask properly, and each time he moved it off of his nose after the flight attendant walked away. When told that he needed to cooperate and provide information to fill out a passenger disturbance report, he argued with the flight attendant, refused to provide his identification, said he would continue to pull his face mask down, and claimed that it was fine just over his mouth.”

After the plane landed, he allegedly approached a flight attendant from behind as she prepared to open the cabin door and touched her.

“He stated that she was being aggressive about the face mask policy and got very close to her while complaining about her enforcement of the policy,” the news release said. “This behavior intimidated the flight attendant and caused her to cry.”

The fine was given as part of the FAA’s Zero Tolerance efforts against unruly behavior.

Since Jan. 1, 2021, the FAA has received approximately 3,271 reports of unruly behavior by passengers, including about 2,475 reports of passengers refusing to comply with the federal face mask mandate. The FAA has identified potential violations in 540 cases and has initiated enforcement action in 83 cases. During the same timeframe, the FAA has proposed more than $682,000 in fines against unruly passengers.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Transportation Security Administration, and the U.S. Department of Transportation are reminding individuals that if you travel, you are still required to wear a mask on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States. Masks are also required in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.

“Federal law prohibits interfering with aircraft crew or physically assaulting or threatening to physically assault aircraft crew or anyone else on an aircraft,” the news release said. “Passengers are subject to civil penalties for such misconduct, which can threaten the safety of the flight by disrupting or distracting cabin crew from their safety duties. Additionally, federal law provides for criminal fines and imprisonment of passengers who interfere with the performance of a crew member’s duties by assaulting or intimidating that crew member.”

The passengers have 30 days after receiving the FAA’s enforcement letter to respond to the agency. The FAA does not identify people against whom it proposes civil penalties.

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