14 Passengers Banned By Alaska Airlines After Rowdy Behavior

Airlines have been busy since the summer banning passengers for violating their mask policies amid the pandemic. This week, Alaska Airlines banned 14 customers on one flight for not complying with its mask measures and for harassing the carrier’s employees.

Alaska Airlines 737-990
Alaska has had to deal with such incidents regularly over the last year, but this time over a dozen passengers were banned on a single service. Photo: Getty Images

Unacceptable passenger behavior

The incident involving the unruly passengers was on a flight from Washington Dulles International to Seattle–Tacoma International on Thursday evening. Ultimately, the rowdy conduct was not tolerated by the carrier.

“On Thursday, January 7, a number of passengers on board Alaska Airlines Flight 1085 from Washington Dulles to Seattle were non-mask compliant, rowdy, argumentative and harassed our crew members. Their behavior was unacceptable. Because of their actions and non-compliance, we have banned 14 of those passengers from future travel with us. We apologize to our other guests who were made uncomfortable on the flight,” a spokesperson for Alaska Airlines told Simple Flying.

“We will not tolerate any disturbance on board our aircraft or at any of the airports we serve. We’re thankful and appreciative of the efforts of our dedicated crew members who are committed each day to keeping travel safe and respectful.”

Alaska Airlines Mask
Alaska Airlines’ mask policy is clear – all passengers from the age of two and above are required to wear a cloth mask or face covering over their nose and mouth with no exceptions. Photo: Alaska Airlines

An ongoing situation

This is not the first time that Alaska Airlines has had to deal with such incidents. Up until now, it has banned 302 passengers for violating its mask policy since it went into effect on August 7th.

Across the United States, there have been threats and even attacks on flight attendants over the wearing of masks. However, all major US carriers have policies that mandate the wearing of them on board an aircraft.

Alaska Airlines
Alaska Airlines isn’t the only carrier that has been forbidding passengers due to mask-related incidents, with operators across the industry banning hundreds since the start of the pandemic. Photo: Getty Images

Industry support

FAA Administrator Steve Dickson is firmly supportive of the efforts to wear masks on flights. His group backs penalties for those who don’t comply.

According to CNN, Dickson expects all airline passengers to follow the instructions of crew members. He emphasizes that these measures are in place for the passengers’ own safety. Altogether, the FAA will pursue strong enforcement action against any person who endangers the safety of a flight. Penalties range from monetary fines to time in jail.

Altogether, these incidents involving unruly travelers add to the already existing tough conditions for airlines, employees, and passengers. However, it won’t be a surprise to hear of more similar events while the global health crisis continues to take its toll on the aviation industry.

What are your thoughts about what happened on this flight? Do you feel that the right action was taken by the airline? Let us know what you think of the situation in the comment section.