The FAA proposed civil penalties amounting to thousands of dollars against the two airline passengers for their disorderly conduct on separate JetBlue flights. Picture: AP
The FAA proposed civil penalties amounting to thousands of dollars against the two airline passengers for their disorderly conduct on separate JetBlue flights. Picture: AP

Maskless US passenger who coughed, blew his nose on flight faces R148K fine

By Clinton Moodley Time of article published May 13, 2021

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The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) hopes to make examples of two passengers who defied a number of regulations during recent flights.

The FAA proposed civil penalties amounting to thousands of dollars against the two airline passengers for their disorderly conduct on separate JetBlue flights.

The first incident happened on a JetBlue flight from Fort Lauderdale International Airport to Los Angeles International Airport, on December 27, 2020.

The man allegedly refused to wear his face mask despite the crew's attempts to ensure compliance.

The FAA said at one point, the passenger blew his nose into a blanket and coughed. The flight had to be diverted due to his disruptive behaviour. The proposed civil penalty is $10,500 (R148K)

The second incident took place on March 16 this year on a JetBlue flight from Los Angeles International Airport to Newark Liberty International Airport.

The passenger had been disruptive when boarding the flight. The FAA alleged that "he yelled, slammed overhead bins, and shouted profanities at the cabin crew, including threatening to harass a flight attendant during the entire flight."

He also shouted at the captain.

The man was escorted out of the terminal by law enforcement at the boarding gate upon landing. The proposed civil penalty is $9000 (R126 865).

The FAA said in a statement that the FAA is enforcing a zero-tolerance policy towards passengers who cause disturbances on flights, or fail to obey flight crew instructions in violation of the FAA’s regulations and federal law.

"The passengers have 30 days after receiving the FAA’s enforcement letter to respond to the agency.

“The FAA does not identify individuals against whom it proposes civil penalties," the statement read.

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