- Delta says airlines should share their no-fly lists so disruptive passengers can’t fly on other carriers.
- The FAA says unruly passenger incidents have dropped sharply since early this year but that the rate is still too high.
- One key lawmaker says airports should ban to-go alcohol cups.
Here is a list of the numbers of passengers banned:
- Alaska: 538 since May 11, 2020
- Allegiant: 15 since July 2
- American: does not report
- Delta Air Lines: more than 1,200 since May 4, 2020
- Frontier: 830 since May 8, 2020
- Hawaiian: 106 since May 8, 2020
- JetBlue: 140 since May 4, 2020
- Spirit: 604 since May 11, 2020
- Southwest: does not report
- United: 750 since May 4, 2020
Delta Air Lines wants other U.S. airlines to share lists of passengers who have been banned during the COVID-19 pandemic for disruptive behavior to help deter the rising number of incidents, according to a memo seen on Thursday by Reuters.
Delta said since the COVID-19 pandemic it has put more than 1,600 people on its “no-fly” list.
“We’ve also asked other airlines to share their ‘no fly’ list to further protect airline employees across the industry,” the memo seen by Reuters said. “A list of banned customers doesn’t work as well if that customer can fly with another airline.”
The Federal Aviation Administration has received 4,385 reports of unruly passengers this year, close to three-quarters of them related to travelers who refused to comply with a federal mask mandate on board.
The FAA earlier this year issued a zero-tolerance policy for these incidents and said Thursday that the rate has dropped by 50% since then. It added, however, that the rate of six incidents per 10,000 flights “remains too high.”
Labor unions and airlines in June requested that the Justice Department prosecute passengers who become violent on flights.
“The top priority of A4A passenger carriers is the safety of all employees and passengers, and we are committed to working with the federal government and our industry partners to provide a safe journey for all travelers,” said Airlines for America, a lobbying group for large U.S. carriers including Delta, American, United and others.
Airlines’ banned passenger lists are separate from the federal no-fly list, which is managed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Terrorist Screening Center.
Southwest’s incoming CEO, Bob Jordan, told CNBC on Thursday that he didn’t expect alcohol sales to return until the federal mask mandate for air travel is lifted, a step that is currently scheduled for Jan. 19.
Rep. Peter DeFazio, (D-Ore.) chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, on Thursday said airport restaurants should help stop passengers from bringing alcohol on board with to-go cups.
“There is no reason that a passenger should be able to leave a restaurant with a ‘to-go cup of alcohol and board a plane with it,” he said in written testimony ahead of a committee hearing on air rage. By Reuters Staff