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Lawmakers Want to Ban Violent Flyers from Air Travel

Hand einer jungen Frau in Handschellen Hand of a young woman in handcuffs

A recently introduced bill would seek to keep those passengers who have been fined for or convicted of violence aboard flights out of the skies.
If a new bill passes through Congress, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) may have one more job: Prevent passengers who have committed an act of violence on a flight from boarding.


Reuters reports the “Protection from Abusive Passengers Act” have been introduced to Congress, seeking to impose limits on those accused of using violence to disrupt flights.


Law Would Seek to “Minimize Disruptions” to Airlines

Although a no-fly list was first conceived in early 2022, this bill was introduced by Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI). If passed by both chambers of Congress and signed into law, it would direct the TSA to manage a “no-fly” list of passengers who have been fined for acts of violence aboard an aircraft, or convicted of being violent aboard an aircraft. In addition, the TSA would be in charge of determining how long those flyers would be banned from air travel.


During the COVID-19 pandemic, unruly flyer events spiked as travelers confronted airline employees over face mask rules. Since the rules have been relaxed, the number of unruly flyer events have dropped. As of the week of March 19, 2023, unruly passenger events dropped to 1.8 reported events per 10,000 passengers.


Even though disruptions have dropped, the event comes as a number of high-profile events have occupied the headlines. On March 25, 2023, USA Today reports a flyer allegedly opened the emergency exit of a Delta Air Lines flight, causing the exit slide to inflate. The day before, Fox News reports a passenger was removed from a Frontier Airlines flight at Miami International Airport after getting in a fight with another flyer.


The bill will formally be announced on Wednesday, March 29, 2023, at a ceremony with flight attendants from American Airlines, Frontier, Southwest Airlines and flight attendant unions.


ACLU Expresses Opposition to No-Fly Rules

Not everyone is in favor of creating a ban for unruly flyers. The American Civil Liberties Union came out in 2022 to oppose the creation of a no-fly list, claiming federal agencies have “a terrible record of treating people fairly with regard to the existing no-fly list and other watch lists that are aimed at alleged terrorists.”

Iloilo Wanderer April 16, 2023

If only "accused" then this should not happen.  If "convicted", then it is O.K.  A neutral third-party should judge whether the incident happened and whether the incident meets the definition of law.    There does not need to be any other punishment (like jail time or a fine), but there needs to be a hearing in front of a neutral third-party (or there should be a plea deal).Over centuries, civilization has built up courts for a reason.  We should not replace rulings of impartial judges with hidden paperwork of bureaucrats.  We should not overthrow civilization's traditions so quickly.

AllanJ April 12, 2023

Can't airlines themselves ban unruly persons?


I'm in favor of not having unruly flyers on my flight as I might be the one that gets hurt.  I'm really in favor of suing the passenger that causes my flight to be diverted.  I’m on that flight for a reason and missing a meeting or connection could have bad consequences.  Additionally the cost on behalf of the airline should be paid by the disrupter.  We read all the time about drunk disruptive flyers.  If they can’t be controlled, then they shouldn’t fly.  As far as a No Fly list, a non-governmental committee of airline professionals should control the list with proper procedures.

DeeKayGee April 11, 2023

While one's immediate emotional response might favor legislation like this, a more considered opinion would recognize that there are too many opportunities for putting the wrong individual on the NoFly list - - and the difficulty of getting proper redress is very well known. ACLU is absolutely right - a national list to restrict flying managed by a government agency is a very bad idea.

jackw007 April 6, 2023

This is a bad idea.  No matter how good the intentions are behind it, the only thing that you can absolutely guarantee is that a government will find eventually find a way to abuse any additional power granted to it.

There are already laws in existence to punish criminal behavior.