Man faces $9K fine for refusing to wear mask on plane


SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – A man who refused to put his face mask over his nose while on a Southwest Airlines flight from Oakland to Houston is facing a $9,000 fine, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The agency proposed on Monday civil penalties of up to $15,000 against 5 passengers accused of unruly behavior. The passengers – who remained unidentified – had allegedly interfered with or assaulted flight attendants who instructed them to obey federal rules or airline instructions.

According to the FAA, the case in Oakland stems from a Feb. 20 incident when the man in question refused to comply with the flight attendant’s request to pull his mask up over his nose.

When the attendant offered him another mask, the man reportedly threw it on the floor and said he wouldn’t wear it.

The man said Texas would not enforce mask wearing, the FAA said.

The flight’s captain arranged for law enforcement to meet the plane when it arrived in Houston.

“The enforcement actions announced today are part of the FAA’s zero-tolerance policy for unruly and dangerous behavior by passengers,” the agency said in a statement. Those facing fines have 30 days to respond to the agency.

The TSA is reminding the public that at this time you are still required to wear a mask on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the U.S. and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.

According to the agency, since Jan. 1, 2021, the FAA has received approximately 2,500 reports of unruly behavior by passengers, including about 1,900 reports of passengers refusing to comply with the federal face mask mandate.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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