You can now forgo wearing a mask on an airplane for just $250.

Gary Leff at 5. February 2021.

The TSA struggling to find guns and scissors is a distraction from its main job. They are now the masking police in transportation because they have taken the existing masking rules and made it a federal crime to violate those rules.

The Transportation Security Administration has announced new fines for failure to comply with masking requirements: $250 for the first offense and up to $1,500 for repeat offenses. However, the SRA may impose heavier or lighter penalties depending on significant aggravating or mitigating circumstances.

  • Customers who refuse to wear the mask may be denied travel, but they are not required to do so.
  • Everyone should report to airport security with a mask on, but take it off for identification. TSA control officers are still allowed to wear masks, but passengers are not entitled to this protection.
  • The TSA considers failure to wear a mask at a checkpoint to be more serious than failure to wear a mask at any other location at the airport or on an aircraft. If you attempt to pass through security screening without a mask, you may be subject to additional penalties for attempting to circumvent inspection regulations, obstructing inspection personnel, or a combination of these violations.
  • TSA provides exceptions to the mask policy, separate exceptions for air carriers who cannot wear a mask or cannot safely wear a mask because of a disability, as defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act, and for individuals for whom a mask may pose a health, safety, or workplace hazard, as defined in applicable federal or workplace safety regulations. Visit TSA.gov for more information on face mask requirements.

By the way, the TSA fines are lower than the FAA fines for unruly behavior that existed before the federal mask rule.

So the federal mask mandate means not only new exemptions for masks at American Airlines and United, but also lower penalties through lesser agency.

(HT: @melissayeagr)

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