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FAA Extends Zero Tolerance Policy for Unruly Passengers

Date: March 16, 2021

March 16, 2021

The FAA announced that it will extend the zero tolerance policy for unruly passengers, implemented in January. AFA previously called on the FAA to extend the policy while testifying before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in February.

"Receiving backing from the federal government on these mask requirements makes all the difference for Flight Attendants, Passenger Service Agents, and TSA Officers who are tasked to ensuring travelers comply," said Sara Nelson, AFA International President.

"It has been difficult and combative at times without clear instruction to the public. We applaud FAA Administrator Steve Dickson for his strong statements and emergency order to make clear there will be no second chances for passengers who fail to comply with crewmember instructions that keep everyone safe. Violators will face the federal penalties of up to $35,000 and imprisonment. This zero tolerance policy is in effect through the end of March and we encourage the FAA to extend it.”

House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Peter DeFazio last week urged the FAA to extend the policy, “until public health officials determine that mass vaccinations have eliminated the risk of infection.”

The FAA said the extension will last at least as long as a federal transportation face mask order remains in effect. Since the policy was implemented, the FAA has initiated about 20 enforcement actions and is reviewing more than 450 cases.

Our union will continue to advocate to extend this policy.

Remember, this is a new kind of threat in the air. We should work harder to keep problems on the ground. Ensure strict mask compliance before pushback. Work as one crew, communicate, and take your concerns to the flight deck and supervisors. Carry this communication with you as backup. You have the right and duty to assert concern for your safety and that of the passengers in our care. If anyone is in need of AFA EAP assistance, please call 800-424-2406.

FAA extends zero-tolerance policy for unruly airline passengers as cases top 500, CNBC

FAA to extend ‘zero-tolerance’ policy for bad behavior while federal mask mandate is in place, The Washington Post

The number of unruly passengers on US flights is too high, FAA says, so it's extending a get-tough policy on masking, CNN

AFA Links on the Fly:

COVID Vaccine Information for Aviation Workers

AFA COVID Exposure/Test-Positive Reporting Form

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