NYC-area air travelers could face cellphone fines

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The agency that operates the New York City area’s three major airports wants passengers who don’t turn off their cellphones or tablets before takeoff to pay up or go to court.

The executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said Monday the agency is considering levying fines that could reach tens of thousands of dollars for behavior that causes flight delays.

“We think that with the economic costs of delays and with the passenger inconvenience and the effect on our airports’ ability to serve 100 million passengers a year, it’s the right thing to do,” Pat Foye said.

The issue of electronic devices on planes received national publicity in December when Alec Baldwin was kicked off a New York-bound flight in Los Angeles for refusing to turn off his cellphone.

The use of electronic devices on planes generally is prohibited during takeoffs and landings, and passengers are warned by public announcements.

According to Foye, Port Authority police last year responded to about 400 calls involving passengers who refused to turn off their electronic devices at John F. Kennedy International, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty International airports.

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