Airline Internal No-Fly Lists Grows to 4,000 and Counting

Airline Internal No-Fly Lists Grows to 4,000 and Counting
Joe Cortez

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, airlines have maintained a simple policy: wear a face covering or find another carrier to get you to your destination. The latest numbers released by U.S.-based carriers suggests the internal ban lists have grown to over 4,000 flyers and counting, as the FAA is taking an even harder zero-tolerance policy.

Despite airlines holding strict face covering policies for nearly a year, the number of flyers currently banned from flying with at least one carrier continues to grow. According to the latest release of banned passengers by CBS News, over 4,000 flyers are not welcome on at least one U.S.-based carrier.

Delta, Frontier and United Lead Banned Passenger Tallies

While the bans reflect a fraction of the passengers served during the COVID-19 pandemic, the list has nearly doubled from the last time the numbers were reported. Leading the list is Delta Air Lines, which has stripped over 1,200 people from rights to travel with the airline since May 4, 2020. Ultra-low-cost-carrier Frontier Airlines and United Airlines trail behind the Atlanta-based carrier, with each airline respectively barring 830 and 750 passengers since the beginning of May 2020.

Spirit Airlines reports they have banned 604 flyers since May 11, 2020, while Alaska Airlines banned 538 since the same date. JetBlue and Hawaiian Airlines have banned just over 100 passengers in the past year. American Airlines and Southwest Airlines continue their policy of not disclosing numbers.

While the original bans were just for facemask violations, the attack on the U.S. Capitol in January 2021 led to airlines banning passengers for disruptive behavior. The Federal Aviation Administration received over 1,300 complaints against poorly-behaved flyers this year alone.

Considering the information, the FAA is getting more aggressive on pursuing penalties against disruptive passengers. The agency recently announced their intention to pursue over $67,000 in fines for four egregious situations which allegedly took place aboard flights.

Even With Penalties, Disruptions and Fights Continues Aboard Flights

Although airlines and the FAA are taking a harder stance against disruptions, documented incidents aboard flights continue. On May 2, 2021, an American flyer was arrested and accused of interfering with a flight crew after investigators say she launched an attack on a flight attendant. Days before, a group of flyers were caught on camera involved in a brawl at Miami International Airport (MIA), allegedly over a limited number of standby seats.

View Comments (5)


  1. Counsellor

    May 7, 2021 at 7:51 am

    Your statement that United Airlines is an “Ultra-low-cost-carrier” doesn’t do much for the credibility of the rest of the article, you know.

  2. VRFast

    May 8, 2021 at 1:32 pm

    It didn’t say “carriers”, so I think the ultra low cost comment was directed to the first airline mentioned in the sentence, Frontier.
    Just a personal observation, I prefer to refer to low cost carriers as nickel and dime airlines, since if you pay them enough fees you’ll get the same level of services as one does with now low cost carriers.

  3. luckylager

    May 9, 2021 at 2:54 pm

    It actually says ultra low cost carrier and not carrierS, meaning they are only referring to one carrier (Frontier) as a low cost carrier and not United .

  4. patch8

    May 10, 2021 at 8:13 pm

    …… these passengers should be banned from ALL US based airlines….imo

  5. MRM

    May 11, 2021 at 5:22 am

    That number actually seems low. Something tells me that with/without mask policies, this summer is going to see another jolt to the total = which is 100% OK with me. No sympathy for idiots!

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