In this week’s air travel news, the FAA has issued another huge fine against a disruptive airline passenger; the CDC still advises against travel, even for vaccinated individuals; spring-breakers are taking to the air even though some destinations are advising them to stay away; Greece and Belize are opening their borders to vaccinated travelers without a testing or quarantine requirement, and Hawaii is working on plans to do the same; San Francisco International moves its rapid COVID testing center this week; Alaska Airlines unveils more new routes and will begin code-sharing with American in more markets (including one from SFO) as AA plans a big build-up at Austin; Southwest Airlines adds three more U.S. airports to its network; Spirit Airlines will offer the only non-stop service between Los Angeles and New York LaGuardia; the JetBlue founder’s new startup carrier gets DOT approval; United trims summer international route plans from Washington Dulles; Japan Airlines returns to San Diego; and British Airways gives its frequent flyers a break.
The Federal Aviation Administration has struck again in its new crackdown on unruly airline passengers, this time slapping a $14,500 fine on a traveler who refused to obey flight attendants. Last week, we reported on the FAA’s imposition of a $27,500 civil penalty against a Delta passenger who struck a flight attendant, part of a new get-tough policy on in-flight behavior that the agency announced in January. In the latest case, the disruptive flyer didn’t hit any of the flight crew, but was loud and obnoxious, causing the flight to return to the airport. According to the agency, the incident happened on a Dec. 23 JetBlue flight from New York to the Dominican Republic.