Over the past year, more than 4,000 people have been banned by U.S. airlines, including one woman on a JetBlue flight who refused to wear a mask, threw food and an empty liquor bottle at flight attendants, and then grabbed and hit two members of the crew.
That passenger was on a Feb. 7 flight from the Dominican Republic to New York, and the pilot was forced to turn around after her outburst. In January, the Federal Aviation Administration announced a zero-tolerance policy for belligerence on airplanes, and on Wednesday said it is seeking fines from four passengers accused of either assaulting or interfering with flight attendants, CBS News reports. In the case of the JetBlue passenger, the FAA is asking that she pay a $32,500 penalty.
Many of the people who have been banned amid the coronavirus pandemic made the no-fly list because they refused to wear masks or follow flight attendant safety instructions, and since February, more than 1,300 passengers have been referred to the FAA due to unruly behavior, CBS News says. Delta has banned the most passengers — more than 1,200 since May 4, 2020 — while Allegiant has banned just 15 people since July 2.
In a statement, Allegiant told CBS News it aims to stop any issues with face coverings while still on the ground and "potential violators do not board the aircraft," adding that "the great majority comply, and those few who may need a reminder in flight also comply."