A group of Airlines and their workers’ unions are teaming up to pressure the Biden DOJ to prosecute any individual who gets kicked off a flight for the disruption they caused aboard the aircraft.
DISRUPTION WHILE ONBOARD AIRPLANES:
As the Coronavirus restrictions lift and people start to travel, disruptions aboard airplanes have seen an uptick. Mask mandates have not been lifted in most planes as airlines continue to be cautious. In 2019, 146 enforcement actions were reported compared to 400 in early 2021.
The FAA has since enacted a zero-tolerance order on passenger disturbances after many have occurred regarding the airlines’ mask mandates and other restrictions. Since then, the FAA has received more than 3 thousand reports of unruly behavior and has launched over 400 investigations into assaults, threats, and interference with crew members.
One of the highest amounts of cases has to do with mask mandates as a record 2300 cases have been filed.
AIRLINES AND UNIONS:
A group comprised of Airlines and various airline unions said in a statement: “These incidents pose a safety and security threat to our passengers and employees, and we respectfully request that the Department of Justice … commit to the full and public prosecution of onboard acts of violence.”
In a letter sent to Attorney General Merrick Garland by airlines and unions, they write: “Aviation safety is a federal matter that impacts passengers and crew members across the country as well as in interstate travel; it is not a local issue subject to jurisdictional variations,”
Airlines and Unions have urged the Biden DOJ to: “commit to taking action, along with coordination with the FAA, to ensure that egregious onboard conduct is fully and criminally prosecuted, sending a strong public message of deterrence, safety, and security.”
LETTER TO THE FAA:
Airlines and Unions have also sent a letter to the FAA asking the agency to forward all “abhorrent cases” to the DOJ “so that the federal government may fully, swiftly, and publicly prosecute criminal acts to the fullest extent of the law and deter this dangerous and concerning behavior.”