Other than the pandemic, I’m not sure what was going on with air travel in 2021. It was the worst year on record for airline passenger incidents. Was something being pumped into the cabin air? Was it a social media trend? As of December 31st, 2021, the FAA had 5,981 reports of incidents, 72 percent of which (4,920 incidents) were related to someone tripping out over a mask mandate. Well looks like lawmakers are fed up. The Washington Post reports that a bill has been drafted that would place unruly airline passengers on a no-fly list monitored by the TSA.
The bill, called the Protection From Abusive Passengers Act was presented by Senators Jack Reed, Erick Swalwell, and Brian Fitzpatrick. Under the bill, anyone convicted of doing anything stupid on a flight would have them placed on a no-fly list the TSA would monitor. And it wouldn’t stop there.
Those individuals also could be barred from special programs that allow for expedited passenger screening, including TSA’s PreCheck program and Global Entry, which is managed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The bill includes wording that says that an individual could be removed from the no-fly list if they’re placed on it. But there would be “specific guidelines and considerations” in place that would have to be followed by TSA administrators before removing someone, such as an appeals process. It would also be nice to know how long a person would remain on the list.
Airline unions, which represent airline workers that have been abused and attacked over the last year, couldn’t be happier about the legislation.
It’s about time we take real action to keep Flight Attendants and passengers safe in the air,” said Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, which represents nearly 50,000 flight attendants at 17 airlines. “Since late 2020, the number of incidents of disruptive passengers have exploded. The Federal Aviation Administration, Transportation Security Administration and Department of Justice have worked to combat this rise. But more needs to be done.
If this passes, maybe it’ll keep more people in line so flights can be both safer and trouble-free.