Law & the Courts

FAA Deals $10,000 Fine to Airline Passenger over Mask Refusal

Two jets sit on the tarmac at Midway Airport in Chicago, Ill. April 3, 2008. (Frank Polich /Reuters)

The Federal Aviation Authority announced on Tuesday that it dealt an airline passenger a $10,500 fine for refusing to cover his nose with his mask and allegedly intimidating a flight attendant.

The FAA said in a press release that flight attendants on an Allegiant Air flight from Utah to Arizona repeatedly told the passenger to cover his nose and mouth with a mask, however the passenger immediately “moved it off of his nose after the flight attendant walked away.” Flight attendants then told him they would have to file a disturbance complaint, however the passenger “argued” and “claimed that it was fine just over his mouth.”

When the flight landed the passenger “approached a flight attendant from behind as she prepared to open the cabin door and touched her,” getting close to her saying she was “being aggressive” about the mask policy.

“This behavior intimidated the flight attendant and caused her to cry,” the FAA said.

The Transport Security Administration has implemented a masking requirement for all passengers on public transportation until mid-September to limit coronavirus spread. As a result, all airline passengers in the U.S. are required to wear face masks over their nose and mouth.

The federal requirement was enacted on February 1, 2021, although various airlines have required passengers to wear masks since mid-2020.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.


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