After a series of complaints were made to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regarding “unruly” passengers, the FAA has responded with full force.
Instead of issuing a warning to those who misbehave (or refuse to wear a mask), they’ve doubled their fines and are threatening to charge travelers up to a whopping $35,000 dollar penalty – and even jail time – should they act out while flying.
Proud of their new “zero tolerance” policy, it’s clear they’re not playing around. Here’s the details on what you can expect.
Back in January, FAA Administrator Steve Dickson signed the brutal order, and while it expires March 30, he’s been encouraged to extend it.
An FAA press release stated:
“Flying is the safest mode of transportation and I signed this order to keep it that way,” Administrator Dickson said.
Historically, the agency has addressed unruly-passenger incidents using a variety of methods ranging from warnings and counseling to civil penalties. Effective immediately, however, the FAA will not address these cases with warnings or counseling. The agency will pursue legal enforcement action against any passenger who assaults, threatens, intimidates, or interferes with airline crew members. This policy will be in effect through March 30, 2021.
Passengers who interfere with, physically assault, or threaten to physically assault aircraft crew or anyone else on an aircraft face stiff penalties, including fines of up to $35,000 and imprisonment.”
But what does “interfere” exactly mean?
Well, that depends on the mood of the flight attendant.
Clearly, passengers who physically assault flight attendants or other passengers have no business flying.
That’s a no-brainer.
But what about “rude passengers”?
Delta wants ‘em banned for life.
But what about the gal with a medical condition who can’t wear a mask?
Yep, maskless passengers (those who refuse to comply with airlines requests to wear a mask) are lumped into this category too.
And if you think the FAA is bluffing – guess again.
This past January, a drunk guy was aboard a Jet Blue flight and kept pulling down his mask.
He wasn’t physically abusive, just drunk and loud, and likely a bit obnoxious.
Nobody likes a traveler like this, I get it.
And sure, he ignored the flight attendants a bit and probably gave them somewhat of a hard time.
But apparently the flight attendants felt “unsafe” and so the pilot was forced to turn around the plane.
The FAA sent him a letter and proposed a whopping fine of $14,500 and gave him only 30 days to appeal.
As for the flight attendants?
They love having the backing of the FAA to gain even more authority to harass passengers.
The Points Guy reported:
“We’re not screwing around here — you just can’t with safety and health,” Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, told TPG. Nelson has repeatedly called for backup from the federal government in dealing with mask violators.
“Kudos to the FAA for backing up words with action,” she added. “This backs up the crew and relays to all other passengers that we’re serious about keeping them safe. Sit back, relax, and wear your mask!”
Yeah, the emboldened flight attendants aren’t “screwing around” alright…
…which is why they traumatized a 4 year-old boy with autism and booted his family off the plane because he wouldn’t wear a mask – even though he had a medical exemption note from his doctor.
Not to mention the countless families they’ve ruthlessly kicked off because a toddler wouldn’t keep their mask on.
With the FAA willing to fine a passenger up to $35,000 simply for not wearing a mask, one better be prepared to swallow their pride and follow the rules – unless you’ve got the kind of cash to stand on principle alone.
But don’t worry, if you’re looking to take a vacation without the bureaucratic nonsense, there are still places in the USA that actually love freedom.
Skip the airport all together and take a road trip to good ol’ Texas where you can roam free without a mask and eat wherever you want!
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