New Proposal to Put Unruly Passengers on No-fly List

Back in April 2022, The Protection from Abusive Passengers Act introduced by U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Dick Durbin tasked the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to create a program that bans passengers with a history of assaulting aircraft crew members. This Wednesday, a new proposal was re-introduced to Congress with a more defined measure to reduce the number of assaults on American airlines. 

According to ABC News, a survey was taken that said 85% of flight attendants have dealt with an unruly passenger in 2021. This means that nearly one in five flight attendants was subjected to a physical incident. Many employees recalled situations where passengers verbally abused, kicked, shoved, or challenged them when asked to comply with the federal mask mandate. While the number sharply dropped in 2022, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) still received nearly 2,500 reports and investigated 831 of them. 

Under the new proposal, TSA would have flexibility in determining the length of the bans based on the severity of the offense (banned individuals are able to appeal for removal from the list). Also, the proposal would be separate from the current FBI-run no-fly list, which prevents people suspected of terrorism ties from boarding planes. 

While legislation wants the best interest of everyone involved, such reform may face difficulty getting passed. Civil libertarians opposed the proposal as they believe the FBI no-fly list is not transparent and unfairly targets people of color, which would transfer to the new law. However, the FAA is making consistent efforts to control bad behavior and notify potential fliers of the consequences of interfering 

with aircraft procedures. 

“We must do more to protect employees and the traveling public, and the Protection from Abusive Protections Act does that…” says Sen. Jack Reed at a press conference. “Passengers, once they are on board, must follow the rules and not commit acts of violence, or they won’t be permitted on commercial aircraft again,” says Sen. Jack Reeds at a press conference.

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