Reuters reports the “Protection from Abusive Passengers Act” have been introduced to Congress, seeking to impose limits on those accused of using violence to disrupt flights.
Law Would Seek to “Minimize Disruptions” to Airlines
Although a no-fly list was first conceived in early 2022, this bill was introduced by Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI). If passed by both chambers of Congress and signed into law, it would direct the TSA to manage a “no-fly” list of passengers who have been fined for acts of violence aboard an aircraft, or convicted of being violent aboard an aircraft. In addition, the TSA would be in charge of determining how long those flyers would be banned from air travel.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, unruly flyer events spiked as travelers confronted airline employees over face mask rules. Since the rules have been relaxed, the number of unruly flyer events have dropped. As of the week of March 19, 2023, unruly passenger events dropped to 1.8 reported events per 10,000 passengers.
Even though disruptions have dropped, the event comes as a number of high-profile events have occupied the headlines. On March 25, 2023, USA Today reports a flyer allegedly opened the emergency exit of a Delta Air Lines flight, causing the exit slide to inflate. The day before, Fox News reports a passenger was removed from a Frontier Airlines flight at Miami International Airport after getting in a fight with another flyer.
The bill will formally be announced on Wednesday, March 29, 2023, at a ceremony with flight attendants from American Airlines, Frontier, Southwest Airlines and flight attendant unions.
ACLU Expresses Opposition to No-Fly Rules
Not everyone is in favor of creating a ban for unruly flyers. The American Civil Liberties Union came out in 2022 to oppose the creation of a no-fly list, claiming federal agencies have “a terrible record of treating people fairly with regard to the existing no-fly list and other watch lists that are aimed at alleged terrorists.”
Source: frugal travel guy