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Delta’s CEO wants convicted unruly passengers placed on a national no-fly list

Delta CEO Ed Bastian.

Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto/Getty and PAULO NUNES DOS SANTOS/AFP/Getty

  • Delta CEO Ed Bastian wants convicted unruly passengers put on a national no-fly list.
  • He outlined his request in a letter sent Thursday to US Attorney General Merrick Garland. 
  • Bastian’s call comes amid a surge in on-board disruptions since 2020.

The boss of Delta has asked the federal government to place convicted unruly passengers on a national no-fly list.

In a Thursday letter to US Attorney General Merrick Garland, first reported by Reuters, Delta CEO Ed Bastian called on the government to put passengers convicted of on-board disruptions on the national no-fly list, which would prevent them traveling on commercial US airlines.

Bastian said the move would “help prevent future incidents” and “serve as a strong symbol” of the consequences travelers could face if they don’t comply with crew member instructions. 

Delta has put nearly 1,900 people on its own no-fly list for refusing to wear face coverings. The airline has also asked the Transportation Security Administration to seek civil penalties from 900 people banned from flying on Delta.

Bastian’s call for federal intervention comes amid a surge in airplane conflicts since 2020. Recently, two Delta passengers were removed from a flight after becoming aggressive toward flight crew. 

In 2021, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) took action against unruly passengers by sending 37 of the “most egregious” disruptive cases to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for prosecution. Those cases are a fraction of the 5,033 incidents reported to the FAA in 2021. 

Transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg said previously that adding unruly passengers to the federal no-fly list should be “on the table.” His comments came after an American Airlines flight attendant suffered multiple broken bones in her face after being attacked by a passenger in 2021.

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