In its latest bevy of proposed fines for problematic airplane passengers, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has provided details about a vicious case of passenger misconduct on Southwest Airlines.
Passenger Faces $40,000 Fine For Smoking, Drinking, And Assaulting On Southwest Airlines Flight
The incident occurred on April 15, 2021 on a Southwest Airlines flights from San Jose, California (SJC) to San Diego (SAN). According to the FAA, the passenger brought his own alcohol onboard and began consuming in-flight. When admonished by flight attendants to stop, he sexually assaulted the flight attendant (no further details are provided as to the nature of this assault).
The flight was too short too divert, but as the plane was descending to Lindbergh Field in San Diego, the passenger stood up and retreated to the lavatory. Inside the lavatory, he smoked marijuana.
Law enforcement officers were waiting to meet the plane and arrested the passenger, who tried to evade officers (on a plane…real smart dude). He was charged for resisting arrest and public intoxication.
The FAA has now proposed a $40,823 fine against the passenger. This is in addition to any criminal penalties he faces.
That’s a start, to be sure, but this guy should do some hard labor and face a huge civil lawsuit from the flight attendant as well.
I’m very glad to see the FAA cracking down on passengers like this, even if it is seven months late. This case is particularly egregious, but the FAA has proposed another $161,000 in fines against eight airline passengers. Almost every case involves a similar combination: the passenger brought his own alcohol onboard, consumed it, and refused to wear his mask.
Personally, I’m ready to immediately end the mask mandate onboard. But until that happens, we follow the obligations that proceed from our voluntary choice to travel by air. Whether it be the federal government or individual airlines, masks and abstaining from personal alcohol are offered as part of the bargained for exchange when purchasing an airline ticket. If you don’t like the deal, walk away…but don’t shake hands and then not hold up your part of the bargain…lest you be one of the fools in the next edition of the FAA naughty list.
image: stock photo – not the alleged perpetrator