Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Sunday floated the idea of a no-fly list for anyone declared to be a violent passenger.
“I think that should be on the table,” Buttigieg said during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Buttigieg said the Federal Aviation Administration “stands strongly with flight crews. It’s why you’re seeing some really harsh penalties and fines being proposed,” The Hill reported.
“There is absolutely no excuse for this kind of treatment of flight crews in the air or any of the essential workers — from bus drivers to air crews who get people to where they need to be,” he said.
Buttigieg said that it is “completely unacceptable to mistreat, abuse, or even disrespect flight crews,” saying flight attendants “have been on the frontlines of the pandemic from day one.”
Last week, an American Airlines flight from New York City to California had to make an emergency landing in Denver after a flight attendant was injured in a struggle with a violent passenger, according to NPR.
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“We are outraged by the reports of what took place on board. Acts of violence against our team members will not be tolerated by American Airlines,” the airline said in a statement following the incident.
“We have engaged local law enforcement and the FBI and we are working with them to ensure they have all the information they need. The individual involved in this incident will never be allowed to travel with American Airlines in the future, but we will not be satisfied until he has been prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
“This behavior must stop, and aggressive enforcement and prosecution of the law is the best deterrent,” the airline said.
Airlines have flexed their muscles by creating their own no-fly lists to deal with violent passengers, with some talk of airlines pooling those lists.
To date, federal fines have been focused on obeying mask mandates, according to NPR. The Transportation Security Administration recently upped those fines to the range of $500 to $1,000 for a first offense and $1,000 to $3,000 for a second offense.
Amid the uptick in violence in the skies have been some incidents that go beyond into the land of the bizarre, such as last month’s scene on a Delta plane flying from Chicago to New York.
The passenger, who brought her own microphone, lectured passengers on “the reason the pandemic started,” according to WGN-TV.
“This is mine; you can’t take it,” she told flight attendants. “I tried borrowing yours, but you don’t want to let me use it.”
“I don’t need to be taken anywhere. I don’t need to be cuffed. I’m completely harmless,” she said into her microphone.
“Although, I think they are enjoying this, because like I said, I’m not terrible to look at.”
“The reason the pandemic started, is because nobody here has any more faith, because you’re all stuck to your stupid devices,” she continued. “And you don’t even know what reality is anymore, and you depend on stupid nonsense to determine your reality.”
She eventually was led to a place in the rear of the cabin, after first retrieving her dog.
“My dog has better sense than any of you,” the woman said. “In fact, my dog could be a better god for you people. My dog is my god.”
Delta did not say whether the woman was since placed on its no-fly list or if she faces charges.
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