Does the punishment fit the crime? Delta passenger fined $52K

Does the punishment fit the crime? Delta passenger fined $52K
Image: YouTube screen grab

We’ve all heard the stories about airlines overreacting to passenger “malfeasance.” Earlier this month, a Colorado family was booted off a Southwest Airlines flight over fears their 3-year-old son wouldn’t wear his mask.

Sometimes, the punitive actions taken by airline crews seems warranted. When three women attacked Spirit Airlines employees in 2020 over a delayed flight, they were not only escorted off the plane but were arrested and charged with assault.

But a new story focusing on airline crime and punishment has frequent flyers pondering the question of where the line should be drawn. CBS News reports that a passenger on a Dec. 23 Delta flight who tried to open the cockpit door and hit a flight attendant in the face twice is facing the year’s largest fine from the Federal Aviation Administration: $52,500.

The passenger is one of four to received hefty fines from the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA has proposed more than $100,000 in fines against four “unruly” plane passengers, according to UPI, which explains:

  • A second passenger faces a $27,000 fine after claiming he had a bomb and planned to blow up the plane during a Southwest Airlines flight from Phoenix to Chicago.
  • The FAA sought an $18,500 penalty against a passenger on a Feb. 5 flight from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Las Vegas who drank several small bottles of alcohol he brought with him on the plane and refusing [sic] to wear his mask, defying instructions from flight attendants.
  • Finally, A woman incurred a $9,000 fine after she refused to follow instructions to wear her mask properly on a flight from Fort Lauderdale to Knoxville, Tenn. on Feb. 15. The woman also allegedly screamed at a flight attendant after she was told she could not sit in an exit row as she waited to use a bathroom while it was occupied.

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Presumably, the flight attendant who was struck in the face (and who incidentally was a male) has a clear-cut lawsuit against the passengers for assault, if he cares to pursue it. And most people would agree that a passenger who tries to breach the cockpit needs some time in a small room with bars to reflect on his actions. But $52,000? It sounds a tad excessive.

LU Staff

LU Staff

Promoting and defending liberty, as defined by the nation’s founders, requires both facts and philosophical thought, transcending all elements of our culture, from partisan politics to social issues, the workings of government, and entertainment and off-duty interests. Liberty Unyielding is committed to bringing together voices that will fuel the flame of liberty, with a dialogue that is lively and informative.


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