Airline Incidents Fall More Than 50 Percent After Mask Mandate Lifted

Airline Incidents Fall More Than 50 Percent After Mask Mandate Lifted

Passengers walking to their gates at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, no longer mandated to wear a mask. (photo via tupungato/iStock Editorial/Getty Images Plus)

In the week after a Tampa, Fla. judge struck down the federal transportation mask mandate, onboard airline incidents by unruly passengers dropped a whopping 57 percent according to the Federal Aviation Administration, as reported by Fox Business.

The 15-month-old mandate was rescinded last month by a federal judge, who said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had no such authority to institute such a mandate on commercial planes, trains and buses.

The Department of Justice said it would appeal the verdict, but there have not been any public actions taken in the last two weeks.

The judge made her ruling on April 18. In the week ending April 24, the FAA reported an average of 1.9 incidents for every 10,000 flights. The week before the judge’s ruling, there were 4.4 reported incidents for every 10,000 flights.

That is a precipitous drop and further backs the previous findings that a majority of the verbal and physical altercations by passengers against cabin crew members in the last two years were related to wearing a mask. In 2021, of nearly 6,000 incidents reported to the FAA of unruly passengers, 73 percent were found to have been mask-related.

As a result, in January of this year, the FAA implemented a zero-tolerance policy on egregious passenger incidents on planes and in airports that included hefty monetary penalties.

“Behaving dangerously on a plane will cost you; that’s a promise,” Acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen said at the time. “Unsafe behavior simply does not fly, and keeping our zero tolerance policy will help us continue making progress to prevent and punish this behavior.”

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