Delta Airlines is asking the federal government to put unruly passengers on the no-fly list

NEW YORK (AP) — Delta Air Lines has requested that the U.S. Department of Justice place anyone convicted of causing disruption on board a flight on the national no-fly list.

In a letter to Justice Department Attorney General Merrick Garland Thursday, Delta CEO Ed Bastian said there should be “zero tolerance” for any behavior that compromises flight safety. Bastian noted that while such incidents of misconduct represent a small fraction of all Delta flights, the airline’s incident rate has increased by almost 100% since 2019.

“This action will help prevent future incidents and serve as a powerful symbol of the consequences of not following the instructions of crew members on commercial aircraft,” Bastian wrote in the letter that Delta Air Lines sent to The Associated Press.

Delta, along with its industry partner Airlines for America, has been pushing for increased reporting, investigation and prosecution of those who compromise onboard safety since last year. The Atlanta-based airlines said they put nearly 1,900 people on Delta’s “no-fly” list for refusing to comply with mask requirements and filed more than 900 banned names with the Transportation Security Administration for civil penalties pursue.

A spokesman for the TSA, which enforces the FBI’s banned list of potential terrorist threats, referred a reporter to the FBI because that agency maintains the database. Neither the FBI nor the Justice Department could be immediately reached for comment. The Federal Aviation Administration cited 4.9 reported recalcitrant incidents per 10,000 flights in the week ended Jan. 23, according to its website.

In December, the TSA announced a new partnership with the FAA that would result in recalcitrant airline passengers facing additional consequences for bad behavior under a new partnership. As part of the alliance, the FAA will share information about passengers at risk of fines for unruly behavior with the TSA, which may strip the passenger of their eligibility for pre-screening, a privilege reserved for low-risk travelers.

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