The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is proposing a $14,500 civil penalty against an airline passenger for allegedly interfering with flight attendants during a JetBlue flight last year.
The man was flying from New York’s JFK International Airport to the Dominican Republic on Dec. 23, 2020, when crew told him to wear a face mask and stop consuming alcoho l he had brought on board the aircraft.
The passenger was also crowding the traveler sitting next to him and spoke loudly, forcing the crew to move the other passenger to a different seat – not the first time, by a longshot, that unruly passengers have forced the crew’s hands .
A flight attendant warned the man that JetBlue's policies required him to wear a face mask and twice warned him that FAA regulations prohibit passengers from drinking alcohol they bring on board an aircraft. Despite these warnings, the passenger continued to remove his face mask and drink his own alcohol, the FAA alleges.
A flight attendant issued the passenger a “Notice to Cease Illegal and Objectionable Behavior,” and the cabin crew notified the captain about his actions two separate times. As a result of the passenger’s actions, the captain declared an emergency and returned to JFK, where the plane dangerously landed 4,000 pounds overweight due to the amount of fuel on board.
The passenger has 30 days after receiving the FAA’s enforcement letter to respond to the Agency.