It’s one thing for airlines to ban passengers who violate the face mask mandate on planes.
It’s another to hit them in the pocketbook.
But that’s what the Federal Aviation Administration is looking to do.
The FAA said it is seeking civil fines of $15,000 and $7,500, respectively, against two airline passengers who were recently accused of assaulting flight attendants who asked them to wear a face mask .
The agency did not identify the passengers, one of whom repeatedly screamed obscenities at a flight attendant on an Allegiant Air flight and then hit him and grabbed his phone while he was telling the captain about the passenger's behavior.
The FAA is looking to fine that man the $15,000.
The other incident happened on a SkyWest Airlines flight from Atlanta to Chicago when a man allegedly removed his face mask, bothered other passengers and grabbed a female flight attendant’s buttock according to ABC News .
Combined, the airlines are fast approaching 1,000 banned passengers because of face mask issues, if they haven’t reached that dubious milestone already.
Federal law provides for criminal fines and jail terms for passengers who interfere with an airline crew member's duties, but those must be filed by law enforcement agencies. The FAA cannot unilaterally impose a fine on its own.
Both passengers have 30 days to respond to enforcement letters from the FAA.