With COVID-19 precautions in place — or perhaps more to the point, with right-wing political figures promoting the notion that even the most minimal precautions amount to a denial of Constitutional freedoms — there have been a lot of incidents on commercial flights over the past few years, delaying takeoffs and potentially endangering other passengers as well as flight crews. Is the solution a Federal no-fly list, that could prevent a traveler from simply switching airlines after a serious offense?
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg says its a possibility that should be given consideration, and at least kept “on the table.” In the CNN interview below, he is discussing with Dana Bash the increase in incidents — as much as 6 times as many as before mask rules were put into place — and how they could be addressed.
Transportation Sec. Pete Buttigieg says a "federal no fly list" for unruly or violent passengers on airline flights "should be on the table."@DanaBashCNN notes the FAA is investigating 900+ such incidents, up from just 150 two years ago. pic.twitter.com/Eol85fEDBk
— The Recount (@therecount) October 31, 2021
Those who refuse to wear masks on a commercial airline can, under Federal mandate, be fined steeply as well as being removed from the flight, and individual airlines may choose to ban passengers for unruly or dangerous behavior. Forbes has postulated that the mask mandate may actually benefit airlines, by making travel somewhat safer and encouraging passengers who might have decided that caution required a different mode of travel.
In September, USA Today reported that the fines were increasing to $1000 for a first offense and $3000 for a second (with exemptions for very young children and for some disabilities).
However, stepping from fines, however steep, to a Federal no-fly list would be a hefty change, and would certainly increase the cost of noncompliance.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com