SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – A man flying out of Salt Lake City is among the latest to have fines levied against them by the Federal Aviation Administration. This round of $531,545 in civil penalties against 34 passengers for unruly behavior brings the total for the year to more than $1 million.
Since January 1, the FAA has received about 3,889 reports of unruly behavior by passengers. That includes about 2,867 reports of passengers refusing to comply with the federal mask mandate.
The FAA does not have criminal prosecutorial authority. In early August, the FAA says a letter was sent to airports requesting they coordinate more closely with local law enforcement to prosecute egregious cases. The letter also requests airports work to prevent passengers from bringing “to-go” cups of alcohol aboard the aircraft.
In early July, the FAA levied a fine of $10,500 against a man flying out of Provo in July after he allegedly refused to wear his facemask over his mouth and nose throughout the flight. Flight attendants say they instructed him seven different times to wear the mask properly but he moved it off his nose every time the attendant walked away.
In the FAA’s latest levied fines, a man flying out of Salt Lake City on a Delta Air Lines flight to Long Beach, Calif., in February allegedly refused to comply with crew instructions to wear a facemask. The FAA is levying a fine of $9,000 against this unidentified passenger.
The largest fine levied in the latest round is $45,000 against a man flying from New York City to Orlando in May. The FAA says the man allegedly threw objects, including his carry-on luggage, at other passengers; refused to stay seated; laid on the floor in the aisle and refused to get up; and grabbing a flight attendant by the ankles and putting his head up her skirt. This passenger was placed in flexi-cuffs and the flight made an emergency landing in Richmond, Virginia.
All 34 passengers now have 30 days after receiving the FAA’s enforcement letter to respond to the agency.