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FAA fines unruly passenger $ 9,000 for removing mask and berating flight attendants on trip from Chicago to Connecticut – CBS Chicago


CHICAGO (CBS) – The Federal Aviation Administration fined an unruly United Airlines passenger $ 9,000 for repeatedly removing his mask on a flight from Chicago, Connecticut and angrily berating flight attendants for lack of alcohol and of snacks.

The FAA said the passenger began yelling curses at flight attendants on February 3 on a flight from Chicago to Windsor, Connecticut, after they told him there were no snacks or drinks alcoholic beverages available.

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According to the FAA, he continued to yell at a flight attendant even after he was shown that the drinks cart did not contain alcohol or snacks.

The passenger also repeatedly lowered his mask during the flight, in violation of the federal requirement that all passengers must wear masks on planes, unless they are actively eating or drinking.

A flight attendant contacted the plane’s captain about the behavior of the passenger, who asked law enforcement to meet the passenger at the departure gate, after he also began taking photos and videos the flight attendant.

The FAA also fined an unidentified passenger on the Southwest Airlines flight from Mineta San Jose International Airport to San Diego in the amount of $ 40,823 on April 15. The agency alleges that the passenger drank his own alcohol during the flight, which is prohibited by federal law.

After a flight attendant told the passenger to stop, officials said the passenger sexually assaulted the flight attendant. Before landing in San Diego, the passenger entered the toilet of the plane and smoked marijuana.

The passenger was arrested by police for resisting arrest and public intoxication.

Federal authorities also fined a passenger on the Delta Air Lines flight from San Francisco International Airport to Atlanta $ 16,000 on January 24. Authorities said the passenger took small bottles of alcohol on the flight. After a flight attendant told her twice to stop drinking, she reportedly finished the bottle in front of her.

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The woman then allegedly lowered her mask and approached the flight attendant’s face, before asking the flight attendant for her name and employee number. She also started filming the flight attendant.

Authorities said the passenger was greeted by law enforcement after the flight was diverted to Las Vegas.

The passengers were among eight people who were fined more than $ 161,000 Monday by the FAA.

In a written statement, the agency said it had imposed fines as part of its “Zero Tolerance” campaign against unruly passenger behavior. FAA officials said while the campaign launched in January had reduced incidents on commercial flights, the agency said the rate remained too high.

Last month, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants called on the FAA and the Department of Transportation to prosecute violators and ban them from all airlines, following a shocking attack on an airline flight attendant. New York JFK Airport in Orange County when a passenger punched the attendant in the face. The flight attendant reportedly suffered fractures to her nose and face.

So far this year, the FAA said it had received nearly 300 reports of passenger disturbances due to alcohol and intoxication.

The agency, which does not have the power to prosecute, said it was working with the FBI and the Justice Department to refer cases if necessary.

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Passengers who have been fined have 30 days to respond to the FAA.

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