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Aviation Industry Responds to Attack on U.S. Capitol Building

Aviation Industry Responds to Attack on U.S. Capitol Building
Joe Cortez

Two unions have called the behavior of Trump supporters “unacceptable,” and are calling for additional support to ensure the safety of passengers and aircraft traveling to and from the Washington, D.C. area. To help curb bad behavior, American Airlines will not serve alcohol aboard flights bound to or from the nation’s capital until further notice.

After an angry mob stormed the U.S. Capitol building, multiple aviation stakeholders are not only condemning the events, but also asking for immediate change. Aviation unions are calling for additional protections for workers, while the House Committee on Homeland Security is calling for those involved to be put on the national no-fly list.

Stakeholders Stress Safety Above All Else

Both the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA and the Association of Professional Flight Attendants called on airlines to do everything in their power to protect aviation workers caught in the mix. After a group of pro-Trump instigators admonished American Airlines employees for removing a flyer not wearing a face mask, the two unions are not only denouncing the violence, but asking for more safety precautions. In the APFA statement, national president Julie Hedrick reminded employees to stay safe, and offered support through the union’s employee assistance program.

“APFA Leadership was made aware of incidents on various flights headed to Washington, D.C. During these incidents, some of which broadcasted over social media, Flight Attendants were forced to confront passengers exhibiting politically motivated aggression towards other passengers and crew. This behavior is unacceptable, and Flight Attendants should not have to deal with these egregious incidents.”
–Julie Hedrick, AFPA national president


The AFA-CWA statement issued concern about those involved in the riot flying home. In a printed statement shortly after the attack, union president Sara Nelson called on government partners at the Transportation Security Administration and Federal Aviation Administration to work to prevent further problems in the air.

“Some of the people who traveled in our planes yesterday participated in the insurrection at the Capitol today. Their violent and seditious actions at the Capitol today create further concern about their departure from the DC area. Acts against our democracy, our government, and the freedom we claim as Americans must disqualify these individuals from the freedom of flight.”
–Sara Nelson, AFA-CWA president

Nelson’s concerns were shared by the House Homeland Security Committee. Committee chair Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) publicly asked both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the TSA to identify those involved and put them on the national no-fly list.

“We already saw reports of ‘unruly mobs’ in air on the way to Washington, D.C. It does not take much imagination to envision how they might act out on their way out of D.C. if allowed to fly unfettered. Alleged perpetrators of a domestic terrorist attack who have been identified by the FBI should be held accountable.”
–Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security

While the U.S. Travel Association called for unity, organization president Roger Dow also asked for healing and unity in the days to come.

“Working American families depend on a productive government to facilitate their livelihoods—especially in this time of unprecedented crisis and challenge—and the willful disruption of our democratic transition is an unacceptable act of harm that is felt not just in Washington, but in every corner of the country. With all our hearts, we urge the swift and peaceful end to the chaos and mayhem in our capital city, and that we come together to heal and move forward for the sake of our country and our future.”
–Roger Dow, U.S. Travel Association president

Security Ramps Up Ahead of Return Trips of Mob Members

With concerns of additional problems taking place when attack participants head home, airlines and police authorities are taking additional steps to prevent issues. In a statement to Fox News, American Airlines noted they would not serve alcohol on flights to and from Washington, D.C. for the immediate future, and will add staffing to all three area airports.

The FBI is also asking for the public’s help in identifying those involved in the attack. Tips can be submitted online, or by calling 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-‪800-225-5324).

View Comments (10)


  1. SpartyAir

    January 7, 2021 at 11:12 pm

    Hypocrites. Where were all the calls to ban rioters all summer who actually caused far more damage and death? The aviation business is already suffering loss due to the pandemic you are only biting the hands that feed you. If such a ban happens, I hope you flight attendants all get laid off and go bankrupt.

    Sedition my a**. What happened in Seattle with the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone was far worse and is more closely defined as sedition. Where were you pansy flight attendants then?


    January 8, 2021 at 5:09 am

    Two unions have called the behavior of Trump supporters “unacceptable,” but it wasn’t all Trump supporters, it was a small percentage ofclaimed supporters who may or may not have been supporters but one thing is certain, they are not representative of the President nor of his supporters.

    The fact that she seemed required to leave for making a joke is very troubling. Of course we didn’t see the whole incident so it’s hard to know the truth.

    The AFA is a dangerous organization that has only it’s own interests at heart. They don’t care about passengers. Delta, which doesn’t have a flight attendants union, if so much more customer focused.

  3. DFW_Airwolf


    January 8, 2021 at 6:07 am

    So where was al;l the Outrage & Condemnation all last year when ANTIFA & BLM was Rioting, Looting and Burning Down Buildings. Guess it has to do with that demoinRat Double Standard Hypocrisy they support and believe in. They only get outraged when it is Conservative Republican leaning event.

  4. ND Sol

    January 8, 2021 at 6:45 am

    The statement, “After a group of pro-Trump instigators admonished American Airlines employees for removing a flyer not wearing a face mask, the two unions are not only denouncing the violence . . .” is belied by the video in which she is clearly wearing a mask. And why are you calling them “pro-Trump instigators”? And there is no “violence” shown in the video. The sentence is mendacious and inciteful.

  5. azmojo

    January 8, 2021 at 7:15 am

    How does AA know if you were one of the peaceful people outside or the ones going in the building and committing crimes? Nice of AA to make ASSumptions about its customers.

  6. Podcat

    January 8, 2021 at 8:03 am

    Let’s identify all those we don’t like and put them on lists restricting their rights. Trials or other due process not necessary.

  7. SpartyAir

    January 8, 2021 at 8:55 am

    I should have read my comment before sending it. i was making many changes to the narrative and made a big mistake and deleted an important word The last sentence in the first paragraph should be …

    If such a ban happens, I hope you flight attendants all don’t get laid off and go bankrupt.

  8. Jackie_414

    January 8, 2021 at 9:21 am

    This from a union that called for the physical thuggery of removing a physician from a flight in Chicago.

  9. travelnewbie

    January 9, 2021 at 8:02 pm

    Domestic Terrorist. And they should be tried as such. @maga were all about killing when they went it and base don the new images and videos they were going to go after the reps. Hate begets hate and this is what Trump has taught them

  10. mmv1115

    January 11, 2021 at 9:57 am

    There is no way, no way I could ever feel safe on a plane where I know there are these maniacs on board. I’m glad the airline industry is taking a very strong stance against these people. I find it interesting that the problem the rioters have is a lack of a capacity to fundamentally look at themselves and see that their own flaws are screwing them. What seems obvious to most everyone else is invisible to them.

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