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American Airlines flight turns around

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American Airlines flight turns around

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(CNN) — An American Airlines passenger plane bound for London was turned back mid-flight due to a mask-related disruption on Wednesday.

“American Airlines Flight 38 with service from Miami (MIA) to London (LHR) has returned to MIA due to a disruptive customer refusing to comply with the federal mask requirement,” American Airlines said in a statement. a statement.

Local law enforcement met the theft at Miami International Airport, the airline said.

The Miami-Dade Police Department told CNN it was called by the airline regarding a female passenger who refused to wear a mask.

“Once the plane arrived at the gate, the passenger was escorted off the plane by MDPD officers without incident. The passenger was then processed administratively by American Airlines personnel,” the official said. Detective A. Colome of the Miami-Dade Police Department.

The flight, operated on a Boeing 777, was canceled after the incident. There were 129 passengers and 14 crew members on board. No customers or crew members were injured.

“We thank our crew for their professionalism and apologize to our customers for the inconvenience caused,” American said in its statement.

According to Federal Aviation Administration data through Jan. 18, there have been 151 unruly passenger reports so far this year. Of these, 92 were mask-related incidents. The agency’s tracking site shows that 32 investigations have been opened so far this year and 4 enforcement cases have been initiated.

Fight against unruly passenger behavior

In January last year, the FAA announced a “zero tolerance” policy for unruly passenger behavior that ignores warnings or advice and goes straight to penalties, which can include heavy fines and jail time.

It’s unclear whether the passenger involved in Wednesday’s AA Flight 38 incident will face enforcement action from the FAA.

The FAA has the civil authority to issue fines of up to $37,000 per violation for unruly passenger cases. The agency does not have the power to institute criminal proceedings.

The agency referred at least 37 cases in which it had initiated enforcement action to the FBI for criminal prosecution review last year.

Last year was the worst on record for unruly behavior by airline passengers in the United States, according to FAA data.

A whopping 5,981 unruly passenger reports were logged by the FAA in 2021. Of those, 4,290 — nearly 72% — were mask-related incidents.

The FAA notes on its website that the rate of incidents involving unruly passengers has dropped about 50% since hitting record highs in early 2021. “But there’s still work to be done,” says the site.

Prior to 2021, the FAA did not track the number of reported unruly passenger incidents, as the number was fairly consistent. But a sharp rise in unruly passenger behavior at the end of 2020 prompted the agency to start tracking reports in 2021.

However, the FAA has recorded the number of unruly passenger incidents that have reached the investigation level since 1995.

From 1995 to 2020, an average of 182 investigations were opened per year. In 2021, the FAA opened 1,081 investigations, an increase of 494% over the historical average of investigations.

American Airlines flight turns around

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