FAA issues penalties to allegedly disruptive airline passengers

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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued civil penalties to airline passengers for allegedly interfering with the airline crew. 

The passengers are facing thousands of dollars in fines after allegedly disobeying "cabin crew instructions" and disregarding "various federal regulations" such as wearing a face mask, the FAA said. 

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One of the passengers is facing a $10,500 penalty due to an incident that allegedly took place on Dec. 27, 2020, JetBlue Airways flight from Ft. Lauderdale International Airport to Los Angeles International Airport. 

According to the federal agency, the passenger "repeatedly ignored, and was abusive to, flight attendants" who asked him to wear a face mask. 

The passenger allegedly coughed and blew his nose into a blanket and ultimately "diverted flight crewmembers from their duties," the FAA said. 

Airplane cabin during a flight(iStock)

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Roughly three months later, another passenger "acted in a disruptive manner" while on another JetBlue flight from Los Angeles International Airport to Newark Liberty International Airport. 

The passenger is facing a $9,000 penalty for allegedly yelling, slamming the overhead bins and shouting "profanities at the cabin crew, including threatening to harass a flight attendant during the entire flight" back in March. 

At one point, the passenger also allegedly shouted profanities at the captain who walked into the cabin "to ensure the passenger got off the plane," the FAA said. 

Since February, the agency has already received approximately 1,300 unruly passenger reports from airlines, an FAA spokesperson told FOX Business. 

FAA WAS SUPPOSED TO RELAX MASKS RULES TODAY, SO DID IT?

The FAA has a zero-tolerance policy for airline passengers who create disturbances on flights or disregard flight crew instructions or "engage in conduct proscribed by federal law." 

"Federal law prohibits interfering with aircraft crew or physically assaulting or threatening to physically assault aircraft crew or anyone else on an aircraft," the FAA said in a news release. "Passengers are subject to civil penalties for such misconduct, which can threaten the safety of the flight by disrupting or distracting cabin crew from their safety duties." 

The agency has identified potential violations in approximately 260 cases and already issued notices to 20 passengers. 

The FAA plans to send a number of additional notices, the spokesperson said. 

The agency doesn't identify any individual facing a civil penalty. 

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