FAA proposes $14,500 penalty against JetBlue passenger who caused plane to turn around

The Federal Aviation Administration has proposed a $14,500 civil penalty charge against a passenger on a JetBlue flight who interfered with flight attendants after being instructed to put his face mask on and to stop drinking alcohol he brought on the plane.

The flight, which took off from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and was intended to fly to the Dominican Republic, departed on Dec. 23.

Ultimately, due to his actions, the plane was forced to turn around and return to its airport of origin, landing nearly 4,000 pounds overweight due to unused fuel, according to a statement from the FAA.

“The passenger crowded the traveler sitting next to him, spoke loudly, and refused to wear his face mask, the FAA alleges,” the FAA said in the statement. “Flight attendants moved the other passenger to a different seat after they complained about the man’s behavior.”

During the flight, a flight attendant warned the man, whom the FAA did not name in their statement, that he was required in accordance with the airline’s policies to wear a face mask. They also warned him two times that the FAA forbids passengers from drinking alcohol that they have carried on board.

The passenger continued removing his mask and drinking in spite of warnings.

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