by Donald Wood
Last updated: 11:42 AM ET, Tue March 28, 2023
The United States government is pushing for a new law that would ban airline passengers fined or convicted of serious physical violence from boarding commercial flights.
According to Reuters.com, a bipartisan group of lawmakers revealed a plan to reintroduce the "Protection from Abusive Passengers Act," designed to improve crew member and passenger safety, as well as deter future unruly traveler incidents.
As part of the bill introduced by Senator Jack Reed and Representatives Eric Swalwell and Brian Fitzpatrick, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) would be tasked with managing the no-fly list, creating guidelines for removal from the list and granting flexibility on determining the ban's length based on the severity of the incident.
On Wednesday, lawmakers will be joined in their fight by flight attendants from several major U.S. airlines, as well as representatives from the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA and the Air Line Pilots Association.
In total, the FAA received 2,456 reports of unruly passengers last year and proposed $8.4 million in fines. While the total number of reports was down from 2021 (5,981), the proposed penalties skyrocketed from $5 million the previous year.
While the airline industry supports government intervention, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) opposed the creation of a no-fly list for unruly passengers based on the government's questionable history of prejudice.
The safety of flight crew members and passengers is once again in focus as a passenger on a United Airlines flight last month tried to open an emergency exit on a flight from Los Angeles to Boston and attacked an attendant with a spoon he fashioned into a makeshift knife.
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