U.S. Considering National No-Fly List, Banning Unruly Passengers From All Airlines
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is open to the idea of a national no-fly list for unruly passengers, but he said creating and implementing such a program will be a delicate situation.
Buttigieg told CNN on Monday that the pressure is growing to do something to address the huge number of incidents on planes since the start of the pandemic.
His comments came after the release of a letter from Delta CEO Ed Bastian last week where he asked the Justice Department to create a national no-fly list.
Bastian said airlines maintain their own lists, but passengers banned from one airline can simply go to another and board their planes with no consequences.
“I think we need to take a look at it,” Buttigieg said. “Look, the airlines are often doing their own internal no-fly list. Some of them have spoken about maybe coordinating on that, and we’re looking at these policy recommendations as well.”
After the worst year on record by far in 2021, the trend of unruly passengers is continuing in 2022. According to Federal Aviation Administration statistics, there were 323 reports of unruly passengers on flights in January, with nearly two-thirds related to mask policies.
In 2021, the FFA reported just under 6,000 incidents on flights.
Several flights have been turned around in mid-flight because of incidents, passengers have been arrested for assaulting flight attendants, and similar incidents have occurred routinely over the past 2 years.
“Flight attendants, every single day, when they’re putting on their uniforms, they’re not sure if that will be a sign of authority and leadership in the cabin or a target for a violent attack,” said Sara Nelson, international president of the Association of Flight Attendants.
Buttigieg said the behavior is unacceptable.
“You simply should not behave this way on an airplane. You shouldn’t behave this way on the ground either,” Buttigieg said.
Implementing a national no-fly database would be a tricky situation, he said, but the hurdles are not reason to walk away from the idea.
“Obviously, there are enormous implications in terms of civil liberties, in terms of how you administer something like that,” he said. “I mean even when it was over terrorism, it was not a simple thing to set up. So none of these things can be done lightly.”
In his letter to the Justice Department, Bastian said a national no-fly list had become necessary.
“[The action will] help prevent future incidents and serve as a strong symbol of the consequences of not complying with crew member instructions on commercial aircraft,” Bastian wrote.
Delta alone has nearly 2,000 passengers on its internal no-fly list.
Buttigieg’s comments came after both President Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland addressed the situation in late 2021.
In October, Biden asked the Justice Department to deal with the rising number of incidents on planes, and in November, Garland directed prosecutors to make passengers committing assaults and other crimes on planes a priority.
Ok this one is kinda funny...there has definitely been some viral videos of people wiling out at the airport this past year or so alot
Honestly unruly passengers are taboo and can definitely endanger passengers... one guy tried to open an aircraft door (the emergency exit) while in flight! Another lady punched a flight attendant in the face and broke her teeth... Another video showed two friends jumping the ticket register and throwing chairs over the barrier assaulting the employees. Idk what is going on with the world since corona but its out of hand lol
Yaaa after those trump supporters ambushed the white house, they've all been put on the no fly list and have been hating it there 🤣
Lol this is hilarious. Definitely worth a forum feed 🤣 Idk why or how people act up on flights but somehow I'm always hearing of some altercation lately. Its mostly entertaining but some of it is of nerve racking