Buttigieg urges travelers to respect mask mandates on planes

WASHINGTON (AP) — Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is urging travelers to respect flight attendants and other crew members who enforce federal mask mandates amid an increase in unruly passenger behavior. Buttigieg calls it unacceptable to mistreat transportation workers and pledged stiff federal enforcement against abuse. His admonition comes after the Federal Aviation Administration announced last week it was proposing civil penalties as high as $15,000 against five passengers for violations that included allegedly assaulting and yelling at flight attendants. Southwest Airlines also banned a woman accused of punching a flight attendant. There’s a federal mask mandate on planes, buses and trains until Sept. 13, and Buttigieg says it continues to be driven by public health considerations.