FAA Fined Vaping, Drinking, Mask-Refusing Passenger $17K

KEY WEST, Fla. — Federal aviation officials fined a woman $17,000 for drinking alcohol not served by the airline, vaping and refusing to wear a mask on a flight to Charlotte, North Carolina.

The Federal Administration Administration said the woman on a Republic Airways flight from Key West, Florida, on Feb. 28 was drinking alcohol that wasn’t served by the airline, interfering with crew members, trying to use a vape pen and was not complying with the federal face mask mandate, news outlets reported. The FAA said the aircraft returned to the gate at the Key West airport and she was removed from the plane.

The penalty is among more than $530,000 in fines levied against 34 passengers that the FAA announced last week. The agency has now fined unruly passengers more than $1 million this year amid a nearly 300% increase in such cases so far this year compared to reports during all of 2020.