FAA warns air travelers to behave or be fined

A warning from the FAA ahead of the holiday travel season. They said if you are unruly on a plane get ready to pay up.

One passenger from Fort Myers must hand over $24,000 for causing a scene on a plane, forcing it to divert to another city.

That passenger took off his face mask and yelled profanities at passengers and crew.

Passengers got to their destination late because the flight had to divert to another city.

Airports are also warning you to get to TSA early during the holiday travel season.

Sophia Smith from New York said, “I thought it was going to be bad is gnarlier than I expected.”

As the crowds at airports grow, the FAA is warning that you may face a fine if you are deemed unruly during your flight.

John Esposito of Cape Coral thinks it is a good idea. “Fining is the way to go. The one thing people don’t like is getting hit in the pocket.”

It wouldn’t be the first time the FAA has handed out fines to unruly airline passengers. In August, a man was accused of groping two flight attendants and punching another on a Frontier flight. They taped him to his seat.

Another man learned the hard way on a Delta flight from RSW to Detroit. He took off his face mask repeatedly and yelled at passengers. For security reasons, the flight diverted to Atlanta. Now, that man is out $24,000.

“If you fine somebody, they do this action and fine. They will go broke. It’s not worth it. It’s a pretty good penalty,” said Esposito.

Another passenger was fined more than $8,000. He took out his own alcohol on an Allegiant flight to Punta Gorda and called a crew member a vulgar name.

Andrew Meir, who is visiting from San Francisco said, “drunk people could be a handful to deal with.”

The FAA reported almost 500 unruly incidents so far this year. Only 300 resulted in a fine.

Most passengers say they haven’t experienced any issues like this, and hope it stays that way.

Esposito said, “it’s shocking to me to be honest. I don’t want any flight interrupted because of a passenger.”

The FAA’s fines for the 300 passengers add up to nearly $162,000.

Reporter:Chris Cifatte
Writer:Matthew Seaver
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