Airline passengers rebelling against the Biden Administration’s mask mandate for public transportation caused the number of unruly passenger incidents to skyrocket in 2021, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) data show.
Anti-mask airline passengers can rest easy after Monday’s announcement by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) that it will no longer enforce the mask mandate on public transportation – but, 2021 was a much different story, as airlines reported record-high numbers of incidents to the FAA during the year.
Last year, airlines reported 5,981 unruly passenger incidents to the FAA – a 3,168% increase from the mere 183 incidents reported in 2020.
Of the 5,981 unruly passenger incidents in 2021, nearly three-fourths (4,290) were mask-related.
Five million dollars in passenger fines were proposed by the FAA for the incidents in 2021. Beginning in 2022, the FAA began levying record fines as part of its “Zero Tolerance” policy, which the agency credits for a dip in incidents in the first quarter.
The TSA decision to stop mask enforcement comes after a federal judge in Florida ruled that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) failed to adequately explain its reasons for the mask mandate on planes and other forms of public transportation and did not allow public comment in violation of federal procedures for issuing new rules.