A National List To Ban Misbehaved Passengers From Flying? Not So Fast…

The national president of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants — which is an independent union that is comprised of 28,000 flight attendants who are employed by American Airlines — wrote an open letter in support of a national list of misbehaved passengers from flying to Peter M. Buttigieg, who is the current secretary of the Department of Transportation of the United States.

A National List To Ban Misbehaved Passengers From Flying? Not So Fast…

American Airlines

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

The text of the letter which pertains to the aforementioned national list of misbehaved passengers from flying aboard airplanes which are operated by commercial airlines — as was authored by Julie Hedrick — is as follows in its entirety:

In recent years, Flight Attendants have witnessed increased incidents of unruly passengers inflight. It is one of several issues we would like to tackle with you in the coming years. Although these incidents are unacceptable, we do have some procedures for how to handle them. However, we were surprised, unprepared, and shocked by recent incidents occurring on our planes before and after January 6, 2021. Never before had we encountered politically-motivated, mob-like behavior. We transported many passengers who had participated in the January 6 insurrection and received reports of far too many incidents that made our crewmembers and other passengers feel unsafe. We thank FAA Administrator Dickson for his action in advance of the Presidential inauguration to strengthen the FAA’s policy against this behavior. It is a simple expectation for passengers to exhibit appropriate behavior, and those who choose to act outside of this expectation need to face substantial consequences from the FAA. In the past, legal enforcement of FAA penalties has been sporadic at best. We see no reason why this commonsense policy of immediate legal enforcement should not remain in place beyond March 30.

Furthermore, APFA strongly believes that those charged with crimes in relation to the riot of January 6 should be added to the DHS Terrorist Watchlist. We support each airline’s decision to add these people to their no-fly lists; however, we lack transparency on these lists from a government and Union perspective.

How many people have been added? How long do they stay on the list? How do they get off? How can we ensure that a passenger banned from one airline is not re-accommodated on another? We must be able to answer these questions and be better prepared for these types of incidents in the future, and we are looking forward to working with you and DHS to prevent them.


United States Capitol Building

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Will a national list to ban passengers who misbehave really result in the skies being safer — or is this a request which is possibly a thinly veiled political message?

Furthermore — while I believe that those people who were responsible for the violence which occurred at the Capitol building in the District of Columbia on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law — what about the rioters which caused millions of dollars in damages in cities and resulted in fatalities across the United States last summer? Will they also be on the aforementioned list — or is this a blatant case of selective justice?

A search of the Internet and social media will result in hundreds — perhaps thousands — of cases, photographs, and videos of people who freaked out and caused scenes aboard airplanes. Which ones should be placed on the “no-fly” list — and for what reasons? For example, should the woman who was portrayed in this article be banned from flying as a passenger in the future?

For the record: the Twitter account of the person who posted a video of that woman aboard the airplane at the gate after the conclusion of a flight no longer exists. Also for the record: I completely support anyone who protests in a peaceful and civil manner to fight for what they believe is right — whether or not I agree with their causes.

If this request is granted and implemented, it could possibly result in a slippery slope that could lead to unintended consequences which may actually define the famously misquoted saying which is attributed to Benjamin Franklin: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

This is one of those “be careful for what you wish, for it may actually come true” cases, in my opinion…

All photographs ©2015, ©2018, and ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

5 thoughts on “A National List To Ban Misbehaved Passengers From Flying? Not So Fast…”

  1. NB_ga says:

    Oh for goodness sake! Such self-righteous drivel from these people. And, yes, completely politically motivated.

    Cashiers do not get to decide who shops at the grocery store. The counter clerk does not choose who enters a McDonalds. Police officers do not pick who drives on the streets. Teachers do not select their students. Why do flight attendants feel this special sense of entitlement that they get to pick and choose who flies???

    1. Barry Graham says:

      I agree, this is absolutely politically motivated. Another reason to fly Delta whose flight attendants are not members of this dangerous union.

  2. GUWonder says:

    A way to deal with improperly behaving passengers is for the wronged airline/airline employee/union to engage in civil lawsuits against improperly behaving passengers on behalf of the wronged airline and/or airline employees. And there is also the criminal prosecution way that the government can pursue against illegal passenger activity.

    Scrap the government-mandated passenger ID checks and make it such that airline tickets for domestic travel no longer require passenger identification and are transferable without restriction and then these kind of efforts to have passenger blacklists will become unenforceable.

    1. Donald Smith says:

      In this day of international terrorism, and domestic terrorism, according to your idea, we then can have the likes of Mohammed Atta, Richard Reid and others flying on our airplanes. We have not had a successful hijack of a domestic flight since 9/11 because of our ability to check identification and other measures to deter such incidents. It “aint the system, it’s the person”.

      1. Dale says:

        We haven’t had a successful hijack since 9/11 because nowdays passengers will not hesitate to fight back.

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