TSA doubles minimal fines for air vacationers who refuse to put on masks to $ 500

A TSA agent screened travelers through security at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, California on Tuesday, January 26, 2021.

Paul Bersebach | MediaNews Group | Getty Images

Air travelers who refuse to wear masks will soon face fines of up to $ 3,000.

The Transportation Security Administration plans to double fines for travelers who refuse to follow a state mask mandate for air travel, a senior Biden administration official said. The minimum penalties are doubled, starting at $ 500 and going up to $ 3,000 for repeat offenders.

The Biden government last month extended the federal mask mandate for air, bus and rail travel to January 18 to slow the spread of Covid-19 as infections surge across the country. It should expire in mid-September.

Airline crews have been tasked with enforcing state masking policies on airplanes and have repeatedly complained of increases in recalcitrant passenger behavior, many of which have been linked to mandate violations.

Nearly 75% of the nearly 4,200 recalcitrant passenger cases received by the Federal Aviation Administration that year included disputes over compliance with federal mask rules for aircraft.

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