Travel Airlines have banned more than 4,000 passengers
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Refusing to wear a mask or other unruly behavior on an airplane has gotten more than 4,000 people banned by U.S. airlines over the past year. And a few people have ended up with thousands of dollars in fines — in one case, the federal government is requesting a more than $32,000 penalty.
The civil penalty isthe Federal Aviation Administration announced it is seeking Wednesday against airline passengers who allegedly interfered with or assaulted flight attendants. A February 7 JetBlue flight headed to New York had to return to the Dominican Republic after a passenger refused to wear a face mask after being asked by flight attendants to wear one, threw an empty alcohol bottle and food, cursed at crew members, grabbed one flight attendant and hit another and drank alcohol that wasn't served to her.
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The administration is seeking a $32,750 fine in that incident — the highest requested since the pandemic began. The other fines range from $9,000 to $16,500. In two of those cases — one on a January 26 flight and one on a January 30 flight — passengers either or refused to wear it properly. The administration also announced for disruptive behavior, ranging from $14,500 to $31,500.
The fines are high in part because of the FAA's zero-tolerance policy, announced in January. Airlines have referred more than 1,300 passengers to the agency for unruly behavior since February.
Video: TSA Extends Transportation Mask Requirement Until September 13 (CBS Baltimore)
But airlines have also instituted their own consequences for unruly behavior. While dozens of people were, the number has climbed since. Carriers told CBS News of hundreds on their lists — which are different from the federal No-Fly list — including some people banned for repeated non-compliance.
How long will masks be required on planes? Flight attendants say mandate should be extended
The federal mask mandate on planes is due to expire May 11. Airlines have required masks for nearly a year but the order has helped them enforce it.It shouldn't be anytime soon, flight attendants say.
The number of people banned since airlines started requiring masks in the last year is likely higher, as two major carriers do not release that information.
- Alaska: 538 since May 11, 2020
- Allegiant: 15 since July 2
- American: does not report
- Delta: more than 1,200 since May 4, 2020
- Frontier: 830 since May 8, 2020
- Hawaiian: 106 since May 8, 2020
- JetBlue: 140 since May 4, 2020
- Spirit: 604 since May 11, 2020
- Southwest: does not report
- United: 750 since May 4, 2020
"With the federal mandate for air travel (including airports), and our face covering policy designed to ensure to the greatest degree that issues are addressed on the ground and potential violators do not board an aircraft, we find that the great majority comply," says a statement from Allegiant. "For the most part, those few who may need a reminder in flight also comply."
How to avoid airline change and cancellation fees .
Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers. When an airline changes or cancels a flight because of weather, crew scheduling, maintenance or another reason, you as the passenger are rarely offered compensation. However, when you need to change or cancel your own reservations, you can be hit with huge …When an airline changes or cancels a flight because of weather, crew scheduling, maintenance or another reason, you as the passenger are rarely offered compensation. However, when you need to change or cancel your own reservations, you can be hit with huge fees.