Air Freight News

Maskless airline passengers face doubled fines in Biden plan

The Biden administration has an answer for the growing numbers of unruly airline passengers who won’t don masks while in flight. They’ll be fined twice as much.

The plan to double financial penalties for those who violate federal rules requiring masks on commercial airplanes is part of the government’s latest effort to slow the spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus.

“If you break the rules, be prepared to pay,” President Joe Biden said Thursday evening in a White House address announcing the new mandates.

Biden also singled out the rise in reported episodes involving unruly passengers who have been captured protesting mask requirements in videos that often go viral.

“Show some respect,” he said. “The anger you see on television toward flight attendants and others doing their job is wrong. It’s ugly.”

The federal government has mandated masks on air and ground forms of public transportation until at least Jan. 18. Penalties for violations have ranged from $250 for the first offense and as much as $1,500 for repeat offenders, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

“The new range of penalties will be $500-$1000 for first offenders and $1000-$3000 for second offenders,” the TSA said in a post on its website, adding that the stiffer fines take effect on Friday.

The TSA declined further comment.

The increase in mask fines announced by Biden is part of a broader plan to try to slow the spread of Covid-19. Other measures include a mandate for federal workers and contractors who do business with the federal government to be vaccinated, and a call for the Department of Labor to issue a rule requiring companies that employ more than 100 people to require vaccinations.

Reports of disruptive passengers reached 4,184 this year as of Tuesday, including 752 deemed serious enough to warrant investigations, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Even with almost four months remaining in 2021, such inquiries already number more than twice as many as any previous year.

A large number stemmed from resentment over federal mask mandates, fatigue over the Covid-19 pandemic and deepening political divisions, making some jet cabins a proxy battleground in the so-called culture wars.

There were multiple cases in which passengers threatening violence, the FAA said, with one yelling, “imagine all of you in body bags” and another hoping that the plane would crash.

Bloomberg
Bloomberg

{afn_job_title}

© Bloomberg
The author’s opinion are not necessarily the opinions of the American Journal of Transportation (AJOT).

Similar Stories

Southwest’s next CEO is reluctant to share lists of unruly passengers

Southwest Airlines Co.’s next chief executive officer said the carrier is wary of sharing no-fly lists with other airlines, as advocated by Delta Air Lines Inc. to protect flight crews…

View Article
Beaten-down airline stocks celebrate easing of travel rules

The easing of U.S. and U.K. travel restrictions is breathing new life into European airline stocks.

View Article
American Air pilots seek to oust managers over flight snags

American Airlines Group Inc. pilots’ union called for the removal flight operations managers, citing years of poor performance including delays that forced the carrier to trim its schedule this summer.

View Article
Report says airports face a long delay to global air traffic recovery

Airports, airlines, services companies, and travelers still have a long wait until global air traffic returns to normal. So far, the recovery has proven to be uneven by region, and…

View Article
https://www.ajot.com/images/uploads/article/Network_Awards.jpeg
ATRAN Airlines becomes the winner of the Eurasian aviation marketing award 2021
View Article
US court approves extension of exclusivity deadline for submission of LATAM reorganization plan until Oct. 15

Today, the Court of the Southern District of New York’s judge approved the request for the extension of the exclusivity period to present LATAM’s Reorganization Plan until Oct. 15. As…

View Article