Saturday, December 19, 2020

Federal Aviation Administration requests fines against passengers for alleged assaults over masks

The two passengers could face civil fines of $15,000 and $7,500, respectively

Two airline passengers could face large fines for allegedly assaulting flight attendants who told them to wear masks. 

On Friday, the Federal Aviation Administration announced that it has proposed civil fines of $15,000 and $7,500 against the passengers for the separate incidents, which both happened in August.

The $15,000 fine was proposed against a passenger who flew from Clearwater, Florida, to Mascoutah, Illinois, on an Allegiant Air flight. 

The $7,500 fine was proposed against a passenger who flew from Atlanta to Chicago on a SkyWest Airlines flight. 

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the Allegiant Air flight had to be diverted because the passenger allegedly hit and screamed obscenities at a flight attendant. 

The person was also accused of grabbing the phone from the attendant "while he was speaking with the captain about the passenger’s behavior over a face-covering dispute," the Federal Aviation Administration said.

The SkyWest Airlines flight passenger allegedly removed their mask, "continually bothered other passengers," and even "grabbed a flight attendant’s buttock as she walked by the passenger’s row of seats," according to the Federal Aviation Administration. 

The agency did not name the passengers and does not have the authority to file criminal charges. 

Both passengers have 30 days to respond to the Federal Aviation Administration enforcement letters. 

"While the failure to wear a face covering is not itself a federal violation, federal law prohibits physically assaulting or threatening to physically assault aircraft crew or anyone else on an aircraft," the Federal Aviation Administration said.

However, passengers can be charged with criminal fines and jail terms if they interfere with an airline crew member’s duties, but law enforcement agencies have to file those charges.

Even though the Federal Aviation Administration has not made wearing a face covering a federal rule, all leading United States airlines require passengers to wear masks, with exceptions generally made for children under 2.

Airlines in the United States say they have banned more than 1,000 passengers for not wearing masks.


  1. I'm more troubled that no passengers intervened and put this scumbag into a choke hold. Nobody wants to take aggressive action against aggressive action anymore. I guess everyone is afraid of being sued by the scumbag perp (and that is valid if you live in a state like CA or NY where criminal scum get all the rights).

  2. As much as I wish the airlines (and the world) would stop the mask nonsense, especially since now are multiple peer-reviewed studies published in major medical journals around the world saying they're useless and may even be making things worse...

    I have to thank the airlines for this asshattery -- it's what drove me to GA and ultimately sign up with a flight school and learn to fly. If the airlines didn't push the masks, I probably would still be flying commercial.

    I agree with the above poster -- there's no reason to attack the crews over this stuff. We all have phone cameras these days.. Keep calm, deal with it on the ground.

  3. What is their problem? I always wear a mask. This way I don't have to shave very often or wash my face below my eyes.


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