Adding passengers to the no fly list could well be on the cards as a potential punishment, as airlines continue to battle against unruly passengers on board their aircraft. The announcement serves as the latest twist in the tail of the air industry’s battle against passenger disruptions, violence and bad behavior, with the number of incidents occurring having risen to new heights throughout the pandemic.
Whether caused due to the extra stresses added to travel as a result of Covid-19, or because of the refusal to adhere to rules such as mask wearing or social distancing, the issue of unruly passengers on flights is one that hasn’t yet gone away, despite strong punishments being handed out to offenders. Here’s a look at the latest possibility of being added to a no flight list, plus everything else you should know about this story.
No Fly List For Unruly Passengers – What Travelers Should Know
Traveling on an airplane can be, even at the best of times, a high-pressure environment for many travelers. Cramped seats, screaming toddlers and anxiety towards flying can all contribute towards making what should be a simple procedure feel like the end of the world. Despite this, most passengers manage to get through a flight with little to know drama – but the onset of the pandemic has led to a higher than average number of violent or unruly incidents on flights.
Ever since flights changed the way they operated due to Covid-19, airlines have been having to deal with a range of issues whilst in the air. From passengers refusing to wear masks to assaulting flight attendants, the situation has failed to significantly improve despite repeated efforts from the airlines to fix the problem. Tactics such as cutting alcohol sales and issuing heavy fines have failed to prevent the incidents from occurring – leaving more serious solutions to be considered.
One such measure that has been mooted as a solution this week is to place offenders onto the no fly list. The no fly list is a list of people who are prohibited from boarding commercial aircraft for travel both into and out of the United States. Whilst it may seem a severe option at present, it could end up being the airlines’ only option if the situation doesn’t improve any time soon.
The punishment was addressed by Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who said it was “on the table” after more than 4,600 incidents had been reported by the FAA so far this year. “It is completely unacceptable to mistreat, abuse or even disrespect flight crews,” the Transportation Secretary said, before adding, “We will continue to look at all options to make sure that flight crews and passengers are safe.”
The situation is so grave that it was also addressed by the President himself. President Biden said:
“If you break the rules, be prepared to pay. And by the way, show some respect. The anger you see on television toward flight attendants and others doing their job is wrong. It’s ugly.”
Whether or not any passengers get added to a no fly list remains to be seen, but a recent increase in civil penalties for unruly passengers could also help prevent the outbursts from occurring. The penalties now range from between $500 and $3,000 – considerably more than the previous penalty limit of $1,500.
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