Fines, fines and more fines for unruly passengers

An airplane is hurtling through the air at over 500 miles per hour and contains a couple hundred people in a confined space. Whether you like wearing a seat belt, you do so while the plane is taking off and landing. You also pay attention to the signs to remain seated as turbulence could cause you harm. Now, the turbulence is within in the cabin – the culprits are your fellow passengers.

A CBS News piece called “Assaults, a death threat and mask refusal: Fines for unruly passengers this year top $1 million” by Kathryn Krupnik and Allison Elyse Gualtier is revealing (see link below).

“Assaulting passengers and crew. Threatening to kill flight attendants. Refusing to wear masks. Unruly passengers are still wreaking havoc on flights, and the Federal Aviation Administration announced Thursday it will request $531,545 in fines against 34 passengers for a variety of alleged bad behavior, including bringing drugs or alcohol on board. The agency said the new requests bring the total fines for 2021 to more than $1 million.”

The fines range in number, but include fines of $52,000, $42,000, $30,000, $17,000, $13,000 and $10,500 to mention only a few. Just this year, there have been 3,889 complaints about passengers, 2,867 of which are due to refusal to wear a mask.

The fines will make someone contrite rather quickly. Of course they can appeal the fines, but that is more court cost for a crime, some may not even remember very well due to their intoxication. Or, maybe they do remember it because they are just being a Class A jerk. And, the jerks are not just men, as women have shown an ability to be equally as rude as the harassing and assaulting males.

Let me speak plainly. For some reason, people feel they can simply ignore the obligations of civility and following the rules of the road. Being allowed to be rude is part of their freedom they say. But, with freedom come consequences. If your being a jerk endangers others, then you deserve to be held accountable. That is how it works.

If the requirement is to wear a mask to enter, then I suggest you get a mask. It does not matter if you are red, blue, purple or polka dot. Assaulting or cursing out a retail staff member or airline attendant does not improve your gripe. It just makes you look very small. And, in some cases, poorer due to paying fines.

21 thoughts on “Fines, fines and more fines for unruly passengers

    • VJ, I fully understand. When people in leadership positions fail to use a sense of decorum, others emulate their behavior. The former president’s lasting legacy may be more on his incivility, bullying and lying modus operandi than anything else. He did not cause this rudeness to others, but he certainly did not hinder it. Keith

  1. People know in advance of a flight that masks are requireed to be worn onboard. If they’re not prepared to do so, they should not fly. I have no sympathy for any who are fined for breakin this rule of care forf the other passengers.

  2. A ban from using air flight should be available, as a person can be banned from driving.
    (A couple of years back a british airplane dumped a drunken abusive male passenger from one of its plane at the next available airport somewhere during an Atlantic crossing- he looked quite foolish standing there with his cases and no doubt very unsympathetic local authorities)

    • Roger, excellent point and great story. The founder of Southwest Airlines used to fire customers who treated his flight attendants poorly. The espirit de corps of the flight attendants was high, as a result. Keith

      • Roger, so many business leaders miss this key point. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your interests. There is an old line in military leadership that would be totally lost on some business and elected leaders – the troops eat first. Keith

  3. Note to Readers: It is my sincere hope the attorneys for these unruly passengers will tell them I am happy to receive your legal fees, but appealing this ruling may not be in your best interest. A judge may actually come down harder on someone who harmed or endangered others.

  4. Note to Readers: In my many years of trying to use diplomacy, there have been occasions where I needed to be painfully direct to get a point across. Often, it is with people who are more ego-centric than others or who just feel the world owes them everything. The intolerance that exhibit is mind-boggling. It is with these folks, that are others must be even more tolerant.

    Yet, there are occasions when I needed to check my “tolerance bag” for a moment. A good example was a young man I worked with who was the youngest curmudgeon I have ever met. I invited ever one I worked with to a party at my wife and my condo. He, of course, stewed over being invited somewhere. Within my earshot, he purposefully said “I don’t want to go that stupid party!” I looked at him said succinctly, “Then don’t come.” and walked away.

    People may say that is not too mean. But, for someone who tries to use tact, a succinct statement like that was like a hard jab in the boxing ring. It should be noted the lad did not attend and we had more fun as a result.

    I am reminded of this when I see stories about people treating flight attendants, wait stuff or clerks poorly. And, to just drive home the point further there is an old rule of thumb about dating. “If your date treats the wait staff rudely, then do not continue that relationship.” It is a sign that he or she will treat you poorly. Just change the story with flight attendant and say the same thing.

  5. Makes my blood boil hearing this.. no mask , no fly.

    loved your last paragraph
    “If the requirement is to wear a mask to enter, then I suggest you get a mask. It does not matter if you are red, blue, purple or polka dot. Assaulting or cursing out a retail staff member or airline attendant does not improve your gripe. It just makes you look very small. And, in some cases, poorer due to paying fines.”

  6. Amen! But people think its all about them and what they want. Having to obey rules is just not rheir thing! Crazy! If I knew I was going to get that big of fine I would sit down and shut up!
    My friend’s plane was delayed 2 hours from leaving due to unruly passengers refusing to wear masks!

  7. Pingback: Fines, fines and more fines for unruly passengers – Terry's Cupboard

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.