LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Federal Aviation Administration has released details surrounding fines against unruly passengers. About 10% of the total fines involve incidents on flights in and out of Las Vegas.
The FAA lacks the authority to prosecute cases against passengers accused of violating regulations and disrupting flights and flight crew operations. But the FAA can propose fines, and it has now passed the $1 million mark for fines in 2021.
The top fine listed by the FAA in an Aug. 19 news release is for $45,000 and is described this way:
“$45,000 against a passenger on a May 24, 2021, jetBlue Airways flight from New York, N.Y., to Orlando, Fla., for allegedly throwing objects, including his carry-on luggage, at other passengers; refusing to stay seated; lying on the floor in the aisle, refusing to get up, and then grabbing a flight attendant by the ankles and putting his head up her skirt. The passenger was placed in flexi-cuffs and the flight made an emergency landing in Richmond, Va.”Federal Aviation Administration
Fines involving Las Vegas flights total $112,000 for six passengers — some who allegedly committed multiple offenses. That’s about 10% of the total amount of fines issued.
A passenger on a Frontier flight from Las Vegas to Denver on Dec. 2, 2020, faces $30,000 in fines — two $15,000 fines — both for drinking alcohol he brought with him on a flight, which is against FAA rules:
- “$15,000 against a passenger on a Dec. 2, 2020, Frontier Airlines flight from Las Vegas, Nev., to Denver, Colo., for allegedly drinking alcohol that the airline did not serve to him. He did so in front of the flight attendants while they told him it was against federal regulations to drink his own alcohol. Law enforcement met the passenger at the gate.”
Another passenger on a Jan. 29 Frontier flight from San Diego to Las Vegas faces $39,000 in fines — three $13,000 fines:
- “$13,000 against a passenger on the same Jan. 29, 2021, Frontier Airlines flight from San Diego, Calif., to Las Vegas, Nev., for allegedly interfering with flight crewmembers after refusing to comply with the facemask mandate and for drinking alcohol that the airline did not serve to her.”
A Southwest Airlines passenger on Feb. 2 flight from Oakland to Las Vegas faces a single $13,000 fine for “allegedly interfering with flight crewmembers after refusing to comply with flight attendant instructions to turn off her phone during takeoff; wear her facemask; and stop drinking alcohol that the airline did not serve to her.”
The remaining fines involving Las Vegas flights:
- $10,500 against a passenger on an April 17, 2021, Alaska Airlines flight from Portland, Ore., to Las Vegas, Nev., for disrupting the attention of flight attendants when he repeatedly yelled obscenities at his travel companion and shoved her multiple times. The flight returned to Ore., where it was cancelled upon arrival because the pilots would be over their duty time if they flew back to Nev. Law enforcement met him at the gate.
- $10,500 against a passenger on a March 29, 2021, Allegiant Air flight from Des Moines, Iowa, to Las Vegas, Nev., for allegedly interfering with flight crewmembers after refusing to comply with the facemask mandate. Law enforcement met him at the gate.
- $9,000 against a passenger on a Feb. 14, 2021 Allegiant Air flight from Grand Island, Neb., to Las Vegas, Nev., for allegedly interfering with flight crewmembers after failing to comply with the facemask mandate. She used profane language when speaking to flight attendants and was met by law enforcement upon landing.