Delta bans over 1,600 people, urges other airlines to share no-fly lists
ATLANTA – Delta Air Lines has put more than 1,600 people on its no-fly list following harassment of passengers and staff on flights amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
In an internal memo obtained and reviewed by FOX TV stations, the company said it made its decision with the goal of ensuring the safety of crew members and customers.
“At Delta, we now have over 1,600 people on our ‘no-fly’ list, and we have submitted over 600 banned names to the FAA in 2021 as part of their focus enforcement program. special, ”Delta told all flight attendants on Wednesday. . “We’ve also asked other airlines to share their no-fly lists to further protect airline employees across the industry – something we know is a priority for you as well. banned client list does not work as well if that client can travel with another airline. ”
RELATED: Delta puts 880 passengers on no-fly list for mask refusal and disorderly behavior after Capitol riot
Reasons for those facing an airline ban include harassment of staff and failure to adhere to Delta’s mask requirements.
Airlines are free to ban passengers who violate their policies. The company’s internal no-fly list is different from the federal no-fly list, which is part of the US government’s terrorist tracking database and prohibits anyone “who may pose a threat to the human race. civil aviation or national security ”to board a commercial aircraft.
Typically, in order to be placed on the federal list, the government must have information that the person poses “a threat to commit terrorism” to the US aircraft or homeland or US facilities.
The FAA said this week that airlines have reported 4,385 occurrences involving rowdy passengers this year, 73% of which involve passengers who refuse to wear face masks, which are required on flights by federal rule.
Earlier this year, the agency proposed civil penalties ranging from $ 7,500 to $ 15,500 against four air passengers who allegedly hampered the ability of flight attendants to do their jobs, despite being ordered to adhere to cabin policies and various other federal regulations.
In a congressional hearing Thursday, House Transportation Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., Called for more criminal prosecutions against unruly passengers. He also said airports should prevent dealers from selling take-out alcohol.
“Take a large take-out mug with four shots in it and take it on the plane – this has to end,” he said.
Criminal prosecutions are rare and generally left to local authorities. The Justice Department said it has laid charges in federal court for 16 defendants in a recent 10-month period, according to travel publication Skift.
RELATED: Delta bans nearly 250 people from flying in its planes for refusing to wear masks
Delta is expected to participate in a U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure hearing on Friday titled “Disruption in the Skies: The Rise of Air Rabies and Its Effects on Workers, Airlines, and Airlines. airports ”.
“We are grateful to the crews who took advantage of their training and our safety processes and systems in these difficult situations and wish you all felt empowered to do the same. Thank you all for what you continue to do despite these difficult circumstances, ”said the memo from the Delta employee.
In the midst of the ongoing pandemic, Delta continues to require all customers to confirm at check-in that they and anyone on their route are symptom-free, have not been knowingly exposed and have not been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 10 days, and will wear a face mask throughout their trip, even if they have been vaccinated.
Airlines reported about six disruptive passenger incidents per 10,000 flights last week, the FAA said. It’s about the same as at the end of June, but down about half from February and March. It is more than twice the rate of 2.45 incidents per 10,000 thefts in the last three months of 2020.
FAA figures show the spike began in late January, including several flights that were disrupted by people on their way to a rally in Washington for then-President Donald Trump.
This story was reported from Los Angeles. The Associated Press contributed.