At approximately 7 a.m. Pacific time on January 20, 2022, an American Airlines flight from Miami to London was forced to U-turn because one passenger refused to wear a mask.
The incident occurred about one hour after takeoff from Miami.
Federal law requires that airline passengers wear a mask while in the airport and onboard an aircraft.
American Airlines reported, “a disruptive customer refuses to comply with Federal mask requirements,” requiring the U-turn.
Local law enforcement has met the plane, but what actions they will take next is unclear.
No. of Incidents:
With today’s incident, there have been approximately 4,290 mask-related incidents just like this, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), in 2021. Further, last year there were 6,000 reported incidents of unruly passengers.
In 2021, the FAA opened 1,081 investigations into unruly airline passengers. In 2020, there were only 183 such investigations.
Fines and Penalties:
As of January 2022, ten unruly passengers have been fined more than $200,000 for their actions aboard a flying aircraft.
The FAA has adopted a zero-tolerance policy toward flight disruptions. Fines hover around $37,000 per violation and can lead to jail time.
In 2018, fines were lower and unruly behavior such as this was rare.
Why is this happening?
Why are so many Americans taking risks like this, potentially harming themselves and others?
Why are we witnessing so much misbehavior?
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