The FAA is proposing a $15,000 fine for a Delta Air Lines passenger whose purported actions caused his plane to be diverted.
The Atlanta Business Chronicle’s David Allison reports the incident occurred on January 28, 2019, during flight DL2986 from San Francisco to Atlanta.
Aaron Hanson (the passenger in question) allegedly:
- struck a fellow passenger in the face
- was intoxicated
- was “yelling and belligerent”
- made homophobic slurs
- his difficulty keeping his pants up
- urinated on the lavatory floor
Gee, is that all?
Mr. Hanson was placed in restraints and the flight diverted to Salt Lake City. He was eventually removed from the aircraft.
The official, legal statutes he’s accused of violating are 14 C.F.R. § 121.580 (interfering with a crew member in the performance of their duties) and 49 U.S.C. § 46318(a) (threatening to or actually physically assaulting anyone onboard).
Apparently, each violation carried a maximum penalty of $13,066 (or over $26,100 in this instance). But the FAA generously decided that $15,000 would suffice.
A filing says Mr. Hanson mailed a request for a hearing to the Office of Hearings last month.
I’m guessing if he was so drunk that he (allegedly) smacked a passenger in the face, urinated on the bathroom floor, and had to be restrained that he’d been drinking for a while.
I’m curious how intoxicated this guy was when he boarded. Did he hide symptoms of intoxication (behavior, odor) well enough to not draw attention to himself from either the gate agent or flight crew? Did pharmaceuticals play a role in this and maybe “kick in” once the flight departed?
In any case, it’s unfortunate for the passengers and flight’s crew.
Featured image: ©iStock.com/RomarioIen
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