PROVO, Utah (ABC4) – A man flying out of Utah that refused to wear his mask is facing a $10,500 fine.
The unidentified man is one of nine passengers the Federal Aviation Administration is levying civil penalties against. All nine are facing a combined $119,000 for alleged violations of federal regulations as part of the FAA’s Zero Tolerance efforts against unruly behavior.
Alleged violations include assaulting flight crews and other passengers, drinking alcohol brought aboard the plane, and refusing to wear facemasks in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines.
Since the start of 2021, the FAA says it has received over 3,270 reports of unruly behavior by passengers. That includes about 2,475 reports of passengers refusing to adhere to the federal facemask mandate, like the passenger flying from Provo to Mesa, Arizona.
Potential violations have been identified in 540 cases, and the FAA says they have initiated enforcement action in 83 cases. More than $682,000 in fines has been proposed against unruly passengers, including Tuesday’s cases.
According to the FAA, the man flying out of Provo was aboard an Allegiant Air flight on February 27, 2021, when he refused to wear his facemask over his mouth and nose throughout the flight.
Flight attendants instructed him seven different times to wear the mask properly, but the FAA says the man moved it off his nose every time the 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 facemask down, and claimed that it was fine just over his mouth,” the FAA reports.
Once the flight landed, the man reportedly approached a flight attendant from behind as she prepared to open the cabin door and touched her. According to the FAA, the man told the woman she was being aggressive about the policy and got very close to her while complaining about her enforcing the policy.
“This behavior intimidated the flight attendant and caused her to cry,” the FAA says.
Among others facing fines is a man who had been traveling from Seattle to Ketchikan, Alaska, that called the police and FBI saying the flight had been hijacked.
Federal officials provided an update in May that if you are traveling on planes, buses, trains, and other public transportation that you are still required to wear a mask.
Federal law prohibits interfering with aircraft crew or physically assaulting or threatening to assault crew or anyone else aboard the flight. Those who violate this can face fines or imprisonment.
The nine passengers have 30 days after receiving the FAA’s enforcement letter to respond to the agency. For more on the fines levied on Tuesday, click here.