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Provo passenger who refused to wear face mask fined $10,500

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) An Allegiant airliner lands at the Provo Airport on Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019. A passenger on a February 2021 Allegiant flight out of Provo has been fined for refusing to wear a face mask.

A passenger on a February flight from Provo to Mesa, Arizona, has been fined $10,500 for refusing to properly wear his facemask.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the passenger — whose name and place of residence has not been released — “refused to wear his facemask over his mouth and nose” throughout the Allegiant Air Flight on Feb. 27. Flight attendants told him to put the mask over his nose seven times, “and each time he moved it off of his nose after the flight attendant walked away.”

And when the passenger was asked to cooperate and provide information for a disturbance report, “he argued with the flight attendant, refused to provide his identification, said he would continue to pull his facemask down, and claimed that it was fine just over his mouth.”

After the flight landed, according to the FAA release, the passenger approached a flight attendant from behind and touched her as she prepared to open the cabin door. He told her she was being aggressive about the federally mandated facemask policy and “got very close to her while complaining” — intimidating her and causing her to cry.

The fine is one of nine civil penalties, ranging from $7,500 to $21,500, the FAA imposed this week on passengers who reportedly interfered with flight attendants. All nine cases involved refusal to wear face masks, and some of the passengers also allegedly assaulted members of the flight crew or other passengers, refused to wear seatbelts, and drank alcohol they brought aboard the planes, a violation of federal law.

According to the FAA, it has received at least 3,271 reports of unruly behavior by passengers since Jan. 1, including about 2,475 reports of passengers refusing to comply with the federal face mask mandate. The FAA has identified potential violations in 540 cases and has begun enforcement action — including more than $682,000 in fines — in 83 cases.

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