Delta passenger who struck flight attendant faces $52,500 fine

A Delta Air Lines passenger who struck a flight attendant and tried to open the cockpit door now faces a $52,500 fine from the Federal Aviation Administration.

A passenger on a Dec. 23, 2020 flight from Honolulu to Seattle “repeatedly refused to comply with crew members’ instructions,” struck a flight attendant in the face and pushed him to the floor,” the FAA said Monday in a press release.

“The passenger then threatened the flight attendant by charging at him as he was trying to restrain the passenger,” the FAA said.

Flight attendants and another passenger put plastic handcuffs on the passenger, who managed to get out of the handcuffs and hit the flight attendant in the face a second time.

“Police boarded the aircraft after it landed and took the passenger into custody,” the FAA said.

The FAA also announced a $27,000 fine for a Southwest Airlines passenger who started yelling “that he was going to kill someone and that he had a bomb and was going to blow up the aircraft” on a New Year’s Day flight. The flight from Phoenix to Chicago diverted to Oklahoma City, where police took the passenger into custody.

A JetBlue passenger faces an $18,500 fine. While flying from Ft. Lauderdale to Las Vegas on Feb. 5, he was found to have “several mini bottles of alcohol that the airline had not served to him.” He was told he could not drink his personal alcohol on the flight. Still he did so and “continually removed his facemask or wore it improperly.”

An Allegiant Air passenger was fined $9,000 for refusing to wear a mask on a Feb. 15 flight from Ft. Lauderdale to Knoxville, Tenn. After being told she could not sit in the exit row while waiting for the lavatory, “she got up, stood close to the flight attendant without wearing her mask over her mouth and nose, and screamed at the flight attendant.”

None of the passengers facing fines was identified in the FAA announcement.

The FAA in January adopted a “zero-tolerance” policy toward passengers who cause disturbances on flights after hundreds of passengers refused to comply with mask requirements.