The FAA Is Cracking Down on Unruly Plane Passengers with Hefty Fines

The agency has proposed penalties as high as $30,000.

Everyone who’s ever flown knows there are a lot of rules to follow. Limited liquids, stay in your seats until the seatbelt light’s off, don’t put your feet on the back of the chair (okay, that last one is more of an unspoken rule). Unfortunately, airlines have seen a startling uptick in misbehaving passengers over the last several months, leading to the Federal Aviation Administration to crack down on more than a dozen offenders with civil fines. 

The federal agency responded with a zero-tolerance policy, which entails huge fines for bad behavior aboard airplanes. A passenger was recently fined for refusing to wear a mask and another for cursing at flight attendants and the plane’s captain, according to the Associated Press

The former unruly passenger, who flew on JetBlue from Florida to California, was fined $10,500 after ignoring mask rules, coughing and blowing his nose into a blanket. The latter offender was fined $9,000 after slamming overhead bins and hurling profanities at airline crew members aboard a JetBlue flight from Los Angeles to Newark, New Jersey, per the report. Days earlier, the FAA announced potential fines against four other passengers. 

In total, the FAA said it has received 1,300 complaints from airlines this year and has proposed civil penalties as high as $30,000 against more than a dozen passengers. The agency announced its zero-tolerance policy in January, under which it no longer gives warnings to passengers who break the rules. 

The new FAA policies were set to stay in place until late March, but were extended after the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) extended its nationwide mask requirement through mid-September.

If you can’t follow the rules, then maybe it’s best you stay home.

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Caitlyn Hitt is Daria IRL. Don't take our word for it—find her on Twitter @nyltiaccc.