A woman has been ordered to pay American Airlines nearly $40,000 in restitution and has been banned from getting on a plane without first getting permission from her probation officer after she pleaded guilty to threatening passengers and flight attendants during a February 12, 2022, flight from Phoenix to Honolulu.
Cayla Farris reached a plea deal with prosecutors last week following last year’s incident, which stemmed from her refusal to wear a face mask – just a couple of months before a judge struck down the Biden administration’s controversial face mask mandate.
Just 30 minutes after takeoff, Cayla was warned by a flight attendant to put her face mask back, but after initially complying with the crew member’s instructions, she again slipped off her mask.
She then started “cursing at and threatening passengers and air crew members” and her behaviour became so wild that the flight attendants were left unable to properly perform their duties because they were so intimidated.
Flight attendants issued Cayla with a written warning, but she screwed up the paper and yelled out a profanity, prompting the Captain to turn the plane back around and return to Phoenix.
U.S. District Judge Susan M. Brnovich sentenced Cayla to a time-served sentence of 3.6 months in prison (after she was arrested for breaching her pre-trial conditions), and has been given three years of supervised release.
During her period of supervised release, Cayla will be barred from getting on a commercial aircraft unless she first obtains written permission. She has already been allowed to return to Hawaii, where she normally resides.
And to cover the significant costs of the diversion, Judge Brnovich ordered Cayla to pay American Airlines $38,952 in restitution. Cayla had, however, faced a maximum potential penalty of 20 years imprisonment plus a $250,000 fine for interfering with flight crew members.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.