Father, son on Pittsburgh-bound flight among passengers fined by FAA for unruly behavior

PITTSBURGH — Two people on a February flight from Orlando, Florida to Pittsburgh are facing more than $20,000 in fines from the Federal Aviation Administration.

As part of its Zero Tolerance campaign against unruly passenger behavior, the father and son were fined, in addition to 32 other passengers on various flights nationwide, for alleged unruly behavior.

On the Allegiant Airlines flight on February 7, a male was allegedly vaping in the aircraft cabin during the boarding process. The passenger and his father yelled at flight attendants about his refusal to stop vaping. Upon being escorted off the aircraft, the passenger said “I hope this plane [expletive] crashes.” He will be fined $10,315.

That male’s father was allegedly disruptively arguing with his wife during the boarding process; arguing with flight attendants who told his son to stop vaping; and yelling at the flight attendant “imagine all of you in body bags” as he was being escorted off the aircraft. The FAA fined him $9,000.

Since Jan. 1, 2021, the FAA has received more than 3,800 reports of unruly behavior by passengers, the majority of which are passengers refusing to comply with the federal facemask mandate.

Federal law prohibits interfering with aircraft crew or physically assaulting or threatening to physically assault aircraft crew or anyone else on an aircraft. Passengers are subject to civil penalties for such misconduct, which can threaten the safety of the flight by disrupting or distracting cabin crew from their safety duties. Additionally, federal law provides for criminal fines and imprisonment of passengers who interfere with the performance of a crewmember’s duties by assaulting or intimidating that crewmember.