© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Delta Air Lines commercial jet approaches for landing at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, California, U.S., January 18, 2022. REUTERS/Mike Blake
By David Shepardson
(Reuters) – Delta Air Lines wants the U.S. government to place passengers convicted of onboard disruptions on a nationwide ‘no-fly’ list that would bar them from future travel on any commercial airline, according to a letter seen by Reuters.
Delta Chief Executive Ed Bastian, in an unpublished letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, said the action “will help prevent future incidents and serve as a strong symbol of the consequences of not following instructions.” crew members on commercial aircraft”.
The request comes amid a record spike in disruptive passengers reported over the past 13 months. The Justice Department did not immediately comment.
In November, Garland ordered federal prosecutors to prioritize prosecutions against airline passengers who commit assaults and other crimes on board aircraft.
Delta noted that there is currently a no-fly list which is a subset of the Terrorism Watch List which allows the US government to prohibit individuals deemed a threat to civil aviation from traveling to airline board.
The Federal Aviation Administration said last year it had taken a “zero tolerance” approach and referred more than three dozen unruly passengers to the FBI for possible criminal prosecution.
Bastian said Delta placed nearly 1,900 people on Delta’s no-fly list for refusing to comply with masking requirements and submitted more than 900 banned names to the Transportation Security Administration to pursue civil penalties. .
Delta has previously called on other airlines to share their unruly passenger no-fly list to ensure people “who have endangered the safety and security of our people do not continue to do so on a another carrier,” Bastian wrote.
Last month, three New York residents were charged with assaulting a Delta security guard at JFK airport in September. The three men were charged with “violently assaulting an airline security officer by knocking him to the ground with his radio and then kicking and punching him in the face and body while he was down “U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said last month.
On October 8, President Joe Biden said he had instructed the Justice Department to “address” the growing number of violent incidents on planes.
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