NEW YORK — Delta Air Lines has asked the U.S. Department of Justice to place anyone found guilty of disrupting a flight on the nation’s “no fly” list.
In a letter to Justice Department Attorney General Merrick Garland dated Thursday, Delta CEO Ed Bastian said there should be “zero tolerance” for behavior affecting flight safety. Bastian noted that while these misbehavior incidents represent a small fraction of all flying on Delta, the airline’s incident rate has increased nearly 100% since 2019.
“This action will help prevent future incidents and serve as a strong symbol of the consequences of not following crew member instructions on commercial aircraft,” Bastian wrote in the letter provided to The Associated Press by Delta Air Lines.
Delta, along with industry partner Airlines for America, has been pushing since last year for increased reporting, investigation and prosecution of those who interfere with onboard safety. The Atlanta-based airlines said they put 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 Transportation Security Administration to pursue civil penalties.
A spokesperson for the TSA, which enforces the FBI’s no-fly list of potential terrorist threats, referred a reporter to the FBI since that agency manages the database. Neither the FBI nor the Justice Department could be immediately reached for comment. The Federal Aviation Administration cited 4.9 reported unruly incidents per 10,000 flights in the week ending Jan. 23, according to its website.
In December, the TSA announced a new partnership with the FAA that would call for unruly air passengers to face additional consequences for misbehavior under a new partnership. As part of the alliance, the FAA will share information about passengers facing fines for unruly behavior with the TSA, which could remove the passenger from their eligibility for pre-screening, a privilege reserved for low-risk travelers.