Passenger fined $10,500 after blowing his nose into a blanket on flight

The Federal Aviation Administration is taking a zero-tolerance approach to rule breakers

Helen Coffey
Wednesday 12 May 2021 10:16 BST
<p>The incident occurred on a JetBlue flight</p>

The incident occurred on a JetBlue flight

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A passenger is to be fined $10,500 after blowing his nose and coughing into a blanket on a flight in the US.

The unnamed man also repeatedly ignored cabin crew’s instructions to wear a mask, reports AP.

The incident occurred on a JetBlue flight from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Los Angeles, California in December, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

A zero-tolerance stance towards rule breakers on flights has been adopted by the FAA this year, with the approach recently extended until 13 September.

It means that unruly travellers no longer have to be given a warning; the FAA can move straight to issuing civil penalties, such as fines.

Passengers are permitted to dispute these penalties.

The FAA has received around 1,300 complaints from airlines about disobedient passengers in the last year, with the most common act of disruption involving masks.

It has been a legal requirement for travellers in the US to wear a face covering on a plane since Joe Biden signed an executive order on 21 January, although many major airlines were already stipulating this as a requirement for travel.

Carriers have issued temporary flying bans to at least 3,000 passengers for refusing to wear masks onboard flights.

In addition to the nose-blowing case, the FAA is also pursuing another new case involving a JetBlue passenger on a flight from Los Angeles to Newark, New Jersey in March 2021.

Federal officials are seeking to fine the traveller $9,000 after he slammed overhead bins and shouted profanities at flight attendants.

Passenger numbers have been creeping up in the US since March.

Figures from the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) showed that more than 2.5 million passengers passed through American airports over the weekend of 13-14 March, as spring break kicked off.

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