A passenger faces a $ 27,500 fine if they assault a flight attendant on a Delta Air Lines flight in October 2020.
How a passenger attacked a Delta flight attendant
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has proposed a civil penalty of $ 27,500 for a passenger who disturbed and assaulted a flight attendant. The passenger now has 30 days to respond to the FAA’s enforcement letter.
This issue concerns a Delta Air Lines flight scheduled to fly from Miami to Atlanta on October 17, 2020.
- A woman was traveling with them, sitting next to another passenger who refused to wear his mask, secure his seat tray table, and fasten his seat belt
- The flight returned to the gate as the passenger refused to follow the flight attendant’s instructions
- When the flight returned to the gate, the flight attendants asked the two passengers to volunteer to get off the plane
- In response, the woman accompanying the non-compliant traveler ignored the flight attendant’s instructions, started yelling at the flight attendant and other passengers with explosions, and even slapped the flight attendant under her left eye
Here is a video of the incident at the time:
Here’s what happened on ours @Delta flight from #Miami to #Atlanta Tonight, after a passenger refused to wear a mask as per the guidelines, he got into an argument with the flight attendant. Video about @kingcoreythefirst on IG pic.twitter.com/TBBYq1VCBb
– Suzanne Kianpour (@KianpourWorld) 20th October 2020
Federal law prohibits disturbing the flight crew or physically attacking or threatening the flight crew or other persons on the aircraft. Passengers will be punished under civil law for such misconduct.
What surprises me about the FAA’s enforcement
First, the passenger’s behavior was completely wrong and she should have serious consequences for her actions. Verbally attacking a flight attendant is bad enough, but physically attacking someone on an airplane is on another level.
What I find interesting here, however, is that the FAA is doing this as part of its new zero tolerance policy for passengers who cause disruption on flights. The reason I find this surprising is because the FAA announced their new zero tolerance initiative in January 2021.
Previously, passengers in the United States rarely faced civil penalties for bad behavior on airplanes. In a way, this is applied retrospectively to actions on a flight.
I’m curious, does anyone know how this works when the woman is fined $ 27,500 but can’t afford to pay? Most people don’t have that much money just sitting around. What are the effects if this is the case?
I commend the FAA for their new zero tolerance policy, especially for situations like this that are captured on video and where clearly one party is wholly to blame. In my opinion, the passenger should have been arrested for this type of behavior, but I suppose a fine of $ 27,500 is pretty heavy too.
We hope these types of punishments will deter other people who act like this.
What do you think of the FAA’s proposed civil penalty for this passenger?