Oakland Fox affiliate KTVU-TV reports Democratic lawmakers Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) and Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) have introduced the Protection from Abusive Passengers Act, which would create rules for the Transportation Security Administration to put badly behaving passengers on a national ban list.
“Protection from Abusive Passengers Act” Goes Beyond Airline Ban Lists
Since 2021, airlines have independently managed their own ban lists for unruly passengers, while the Federal Aviation Administration announced civil penalties for those who do not follow the rules. While it is unknown exactly how many passengers have been banned by airlines, estimates from previous releases puts it over 4,000 people. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, airlines forwarded nearly 6,000 unruly passenger reports to the agency in 2021, but they only initiated 350 enforcement cases.
Instead of leaving enforcement up to airlines and the FAA, the bill would instead create a national no-fly list of anyone found to disrupt a flight with their behavior. An unruly passenger would receive a notice from the TSA about their proposed ban and can appeal the case. If it is upheld, not only would passengers lose privileges to fly aboard any airline but will also be banned for life from both TSA PreCheck and Global Entry.
The proposal is earning praise from labor unions representing front-line aviation workers across companies. The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants and the Transport Workers of America have all expressed support for the legislation to become law.
“Violence and disruptions put everyone at risk and disrupts the safety of flight. That is never acceptable,” Sara Nelson, president of the AFA-CWA, said in a statement to FlyerTalk. “We’ve been punched, kicked, spit on, and sexually assaulted. We urge members of Congress to co-sign this bill and pass this legislation without delay. Hold violent passengers accountable, protect aviation workers and improve aviation safety.”
“There must be severe consequences for injuring Flight Attendants,” APFA national president Julie Hedrick said in a statement to FlyerTalk. “We need the accountability of a federal “no-fly” list to protect all crewmembers and passengers across the industry.”
Bill Would Replace Potential Order from FAA and TSA
If the bill is passed into law, it would replace a proposed order considered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the TSA to make a no-fly list. The original rule was opposed by Republican lawmakers, who campaigned to end the federal face mask mandate.
Source: frugal travel guy