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Tue, Feb 22, 2022

Flight Attendant Association Pushes for No-Fly Punishment for Disruptives

"Attendants Continue to Face Physical and Verbal Abuse, Cannot Sit by and Allow Offenses" Says APFA

The issue of exactly how far the industry should go to punish disruptive airline passengers has been the subject of considerable disagreement between a bevy of sociopolitical commentators and industry stakeholders, after a solid 2-year increase in incidents causing problems throughout the transportation network. 

The Association of Professional Flight Attendants has joined the chorus of industry voices pushing for disruptive passengers to be placed on the no-fly list, essentially blacklisting them across any commercial aviation services. In their statement, they say the move stems from concern "for the safety of our passengers and crew and never know what to expect when the aircraft takes off. The position of our Union has been clear and consistent: We must ensure these offenders face prosecution to the full extent of the law with appropriate fines, criminal penalties, and applicable flying bans."

Unruly-passenger incidents reported to the FAA have risen sharply since 2020, thought to be brought on by a series of societal shifts and stressors innate to post-pandemic travel. Under the FAA's new zero-tolerance policy, offenders who are cited for breaching federal regulations in-air are shunted direct to civil penalties up to $37,000 per violation, moving past counseling requirements or warnings as it did before the change. The no-fly list is controversial to some, given the apparent inability to restore flight rights for those placed on it in addition to the typical error-prone, bureaucratic inefficiency inherent to such databases. 

It is notable that some Senators have opposed the measure as too far-reaching, despite having constituencies with "large numbers of American Flight Attendants at crew bases in Dallas, Ft. Worth, and Miami," according to the association. They make mention of Texas and Florida senators that "sent a letter to DOT Secretary Buttigieg in opposition to the creation of a federal “no-fly” list, leaving our crews at risk." Given the somewhat widespread industry support, like the recent comments by Delta CEO Ed Bastian in support of the measure, it could see implementation in the near future should disruptive passenger rates continue to rise. 

FMI: www.apfa.org

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