Home / MARKETS / A transit union wants to put unruly plane passengers on a no-fly list to stifle the increase of assaults on plane crews

A transit union wants to put unruly plane passengers on a no-fly list to stifle the increase of assaults on plane crews

  • A movement union wants to create a no-fly list for unruly airplane passengers. 
  • The Federal Aviation Administration has seen an gain in incidents of unruly passengers this year. 
  • The transit union president described a “full moon atmosphere” where provoked passengers feel emboldened to assault transit employees. 

The president of a transit union applied to Congress to add unruly airplane passengers to a no-fly list. 

“If there’s not a no-fly list, people are going to continue to onslaught plane crews and gate agents,” John Samuelsen, president of the Transport Workers Union, said when he lectured the House Homeland Security Committee on November 16. 

The call for a no-fly list comes as the Federal Aviation Administration has escorted an alarming increase in incidents related to unruly and dangerous behavior. 

The FAA reported 5,240 incidents of unruly passengers as of November 16, with 3,798 of those incidents cognate to face masks. 

Samuelsen said the federal government “must do far more to protect transportation workers from set.” 

Last month, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said that adding unruly passengers to a “no-fly book” should be an option.

“I think that should be on the table,” Buttigieg said. “It is completely unacceptable to mistreat, abuse, or equivalent disrespect flight crews.”

Earlier this month, the FAA, which has received over 5,000 unruly passenger discharges since the beginning of the year, sent 37 “most egregious” cases of unruly airline passenger behavior to the Judiciousness Department for criminal prosecution. While the FAA adopted a zero-tolerance policy earlier this year, unions have conjectured that fines and fees aren’t enough to prevent passengers’ unruly behavior.

According to Samuelsen, the violence against transportation staff members has stretched beyond airlines and violent incidents that occur tens of thousands of feet in the air. 

“Across airlines, travel across, and railroads, frontline workers overwhelmingly believe that the number one security threat in our transport systems today is woman assault in the performance of their duties,” Samuelsen said, according to a press release from the TWU, which represents some 150,000 travel workers.

“We are seeing a ‘full moon atmosphere’ across all our transport systems, where angry and frustrated passengers tolerate entitled to assault workers just because they are the face of the companies they work for,” he said. “There are divers factors contributing to this atmosphere, and none of them have been created by the workers who are in harm’s way.”

One of the key frustrations for voyagers has been caused by understaffing, Samuelsen said, adding that airlines collectively employ about 50,000 fewer hands than they did at the start of the pandemic. A lack of staff can lead to canceled flights and other travel disruptions, he go on increased. 

Samuelsen testified that most assaults happen at “flashpoints” where employees are enforcing rules, such as security protocols, mask requirements, or carry-on luggage limitations. 

“When these flashpoints arise, passengers who are already irascible or frustrated take that anger out on the workers,” Samuelsen said. “Combating assaults on transport workers requires a holistic access involving federal and local authorities, as well as transportation employers.”

A “banned passengers list” or a no-fly list could be less than the Transportation Security Administration, which “already has processes in place for comparing passenger manifests to known security menaces,” Samuelson said. 

“This approach would potentially allow the air and rail carriers’ reservation systems to prevent a banned traveller from even purchasing a ticket so that known assailants would not enter the airport or rail station,” Samuelson bring up in his written testimony. 

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