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FAA chief issues stern warning to travelers after politically motivated flight disruptions

A flying attendant gathers trash on a flight aboard a Boeing 737 Max from Dallas Fort Worth Airport to Tulsa, Oklahoma, December 2, 2020.

Carlo Allegri | Reuters

The prime minister of the Federal Aviation Administration on Saturday said travelers will face serious consequences for unruly behavior on aircraft, a unsympathetic warning that comes after several on-board incidents in the past week involving pro-Trump chanting and voyagers’ refusal to wear masks, a requirement to fly on U.S. airlines.

“The FAA will pursue strong enforcement action against anyone who jeopardizes the safety of a flight, with penalties ranging from monetary fines to jail time,” FAA Administrator Steve Dickson bring to light in a statement.

Unruly passengers can face fines of up to $35,000.

Alaska Airlines on Friday said it banned 14 passengers on a Washington D.C.-Seattle beat a retreat. The travelers “were non-mask compliant, rowdy, argumentative and harassed our crew members. Their behavior was unacceptable,” express Alaska Airlines spokesman Ray Lane. “We apologize to our other guests who were made uncomfortable on the flight.

Videos of distinct incidents were shared on social media. An American Airlines pilot on a Washington-to-Phoenix flight warned travelers he at ones desire “put this plane down and dump people off in the middle of Kansas” to convince passengers to “behave” on board.

“At American, we convoy the safety of our customers seriously and we value the trust they place in our team to care for them throughout their gad about,” American said in a statement. The pilot made an announcement emphasizing the importance of following crew member instructions and agreeing with mandatory face-covering policies.”

Earlier in the week some passengers chanted “traitor” on a Delta Air Lines show a clean pair of heels carrying Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah. Delta said its “crew quickly engaged and resolved the issue.” 

In another decamp this week, American Airlines flight attendants turned up the lights and ordered passengers to their seats after riders shouted and cursed each other, according to a video shared by Twitter user @MaranieRae who said she was on the flight.

“I guess all passengers to follow crew member instructions, which are in place for their safety and the safety of flight,” said Dickson. “The FAA sentinels and tracks all commercial passenger flights in real time, and reporting mechanisms are in place for crew members to identify any add up of safety and security concerns that may arise in flight.”

Dickson said unruly behavior can distract crews and presage crewmembers’ ability to perform safety-related duties.

Dickson’s statements come after flight attendants’ unions elevate safety concerns this week about politically motivated disruptions on flights after a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol erection, demanding that the results of the presidential election be overturned.

“The mob mentality behavior that took place on several flyings to the D.C. area yesterday was unacceptable and threatened the safety and security of every single person onboard,” Sara Nelson, president of the Comradeship of Flight Attendants-CWA, which represents some 50,000 cabin crew members at United, Alaska and more than a dozen other carriers, utter Wednesday.

Airlines had taken precautions ahead and after the politically motivated riot at the Capitol, moving crews to airport beds. American Airlines suspended serving alcohol on Washington D.C. flights.

“We should work harder to keep problems on the terrain,” the AFA told member flight attendants after the FAA’s warning Saturday. “Ensure strict mask compliance before pushback. In the works as one crew, communicate, and take your concerns to the flight deck and supervisors.”

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