On Thursday, The Sacramento Bee reported that the Federal Aviation Administration is set to impose steep fines on four anti-mask passengers who caused a scene on various flights, totaling $67,000 between all of them
"The Federal Aviation Administration under the U.S. Department of Transportation is planning to fine the individuals between $9,000 and $32,750 for incidents that occurred from Dec. 22 to Feb. 7, the agency said in a news release Wednesday. Those passengers, who are not named, will have 30 days to respond after receiving the enforcement letter," reported Hayley Fowler. "'The FAA has proposed fines between $9K and $33K against four passengers for allegedly interfering with and, in two cases, assaulting flight attendants,' the agency said in a tweet. 'We have zero tolerance for unruly or dangerous behavior. Our fines can reach up to $35K.'"
One individual passenger is facing a fine of $32,750. "Officials said the incident occurred Feb. 7 on a JetBlue flight from the Dominican Republic to New York," said the report. "The passenger is accused of not wearing a face mask, throwing an empty bottle of alcohol and food in the air and shouting at crew members. She also 'grabbed a flight attendant's arm, causing her pain" and "struck the arm of another flight attendant twice and scratched his hand,' the agency said. The flight was ultimately diverted back to the Dominican Republic, according to the FAA."
Airlines have referred roughly 1,300 "unruly" passengers to the FAA since February, according to Reuters, many of whom became belligerent because they were ordered to comply with COVID-19 mask mandates. Even some politicians have gotten into trouble on flights; one Alaska state senator was banned from Alaska Airlines after repeatedly refusing to comply with what she deemed "mask tyranny."