Delta asks the Department of Justice to put unruly travelers on a no-fly list

Flight attendants hand out refreshments to a crowded Delta Airlines flight traveling from Ronald Regan National Airport to Minneapolis Saint Paul International Airport Friday, May 21, 2021.

Kent Nishimura | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images

Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian has asked the US Department of Justice to put convicted unruly travelers on a national no-fly list, the airline’s latest effort to deter aggressive behavior on flights which have increased during the pandemic.

Bastian said that while such incidents are rare, a ‘no-fly’ list ‘will help prevent future incidents and serve as a strong symbol of the consequences of not following crew member instructions on commercial aircraft. “, he wrote to Attorney General Merrick Garland. in a letter dated January 3.

The Federal Aviation Administration declared a “zero tolerance” policy for unruly travelers last year. In 2021, it recorded a record 5,981 cases of unruly passenger behavior, 72% of them related to disputes over mask compliance. Enforcement measures were initiated in 350 cases. So far this year, the FAA has received 323 reports of unruly passengers.

Last September, Delta said airlines should share a central “no-fly” list of unruly passengers, arguing it could prevent those banned from flying on one carrier from traveling on another.

Garland instructed prosecutors in November to prioritize cases of disruptive and violent behavior on flights, such as assaults on crew members or passengers. Earlier that month, the FAA said it referred 37 unruly passengers to the FBI.

Delta banned 1,900 people from flying the carrier for failing to meet the federal mask mandate, he said.

The Justice Department has not commented on Bastian’s letter, which was first reported by Reuters.

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