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FAA fines Utah airline passenger over $10,000, launches new PSA to stop 'unruly behavior'

An Allegiant Air airplane lands at the Provo Municipal Airport in Provo on Nov. 6, 2019. The FAA released a new public service announcement Wednesday warning people about the administration's zero tolerance policy for not following the rules, and they're using a case out of Utah as an example of what not to do.

An Allegiant Air airplane lands at the Provo Municipal Airport in Provo on Nov. 6, 2019. The FAA released a new public service announcement Wednesday warning people about the administration's zero tolerance policy for not following the rules, and they're using a case out of Utah as an example of what not to do. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News, File)



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

PROVO — The Federal Aviation Administration isn't messing around when it comes to fining unruly passengers on airlines. It's released a new public service announcement warning people about the administration's zero tolerance policy for not following the rules, and it's using a case out of Utah as an example of what not to do.

The PSA from the FAA may appear cute, but the fines are real for the passenger receiving them. The message features children explaining to adults that adults should behave better in the air.

"They should know better, if they're, like adults," one child says on the video.

Another says, "You could distract the pilot if it gets that bad."

The YouTube video ends with two statements. One reads, "Even children know it's not safe to disrupt a flight." The other reads, "The FAA has ZERO TOLERANCE for not following crew instructions."

FAA fines unruly passenger

Administration officials issued a press release saying they've levied $119,000 in fines against nine different passengers for unruly behavior since the beginning of the calendar year. Several of those fines involved the refusal to comply with the federal face mask mandate.

One of their highlighted cases involved a man on an Allegiant Air flight from Provo to Mesa, Arizona, in late February. According to the statement, the man refused to wear the mask properly, removing it from his nose after flight attendants warned him several times to wear it properly.

"Each time he moved it off of his nose after the flight attendant walked away," the release states.

That man reportedly refused to cooperate with the flight crew who asked for his information to fill out their passenger disturbance report. When the flight was finished, he reportedly got very close to an attendant to confront her about the mandate.

"This behavior intimidated the flight attendant and caused her to cry," the statement reads.

That passenger was fined $10,500 for that interaction.

The FAA reports there have been 3,271 reports of unruly behavior since the beginning of the year; 2,475 of those passengers reportedly refused to comply with the mandate. They've started "enforcement action" in 83 of those cases.

Last October, a fight broke out on an Allegiant Air flight bound for Provo after a passenger reportedly wore a face shield instead of a facemask.

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Paul Nelson

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