Delta CEO pleads for no-fly list for unruly passengers

Atlanta-based airline says ‘action will help prevent future incidents’

Passengers sing as peopled who refused to wear masks are thrown off flight

The United States’s second biggest airline has again called on the country’s Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) to introduce a “no fly” list for unruly travellers.

Ed Bastian, the CEO of Delta Air Lines, wrote in a letter to US attorney general Merrick Garland on Friday that a US-wide “no fly” list would “serve as a strong symbol of the consequences of not complying” with Covid requirements for travellers.

It would mean listed passengers would be banned from flying on all US airlines, which last year recorded more than 5,000 incidents.

A majority of those (4,290, or 72 per cent) were due to passengers refusing to comply with Covid mask wearing requirements and for engaging in disturbances with airline workers.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) already enforces a “no fly” list for terrorists on a FBI database, and many airline bosses want a similar approach to Covid rule breakers. 

“This action will help prevent future incidents and serve as a strong symbol of the consequences of not complying with crew member instructions on commercial aircraft,” said Mr Batian in his letter.

More than 900 names on Delta Air Lines’s own “no fly” list were submitted along with the letter, which was seen by CNN and the Associated Press.

That was thought to include a number of well known incidents that went viral online, and includes a male passenger who was removed from a Delta Air Lines flight to New York last month after he allegedly “pulled down his pants”.

Mr Bastian, who has long called for the “no fly” list, added that unruly passengers accounted for a small percentage of those who fly with the Atlanta-based airline, which has about 1,900 people on a company “no fly” list.

Both the airline and FAA last year committed themselves a “zero tolerance” policy towards disruptive passengers. who will soon be subject to removal from priority screening as part of a new working partnership between the TSA and FAA.

So far this year, some 300 incidents have been reported to the FAA by airlines.

Additional reporting by Associated Press.

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