Airlines Call For Nationwide No-Fly List To Ban Unruly Passengers

Airline executives are asking the FBI to place unruly passengers on a no-fly list as incidents involving disorderly conduct have skyrocketed.

Airlines Call For Nationwide No-Fly List To Ban Unruly Passengers
Charlie Riedel / AP

A flight from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., was diverted Sunday after a passenger tried to get into the cockpit and open the door of the plane mid-flight.

A flight attendant reportedly had to hit the man several times in the head with a coffee pot before other passengers were able to help restrain him.

An American Airlines aircraft

Flight Attendant Hits Unruly Passenger In Head With Coffee Pot

An American Airlines flight heading from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., made an emergency landing in Missouri after a struggle with a passenger.


Incidents like this have become increasingly common and have prompted calls for unruly passengers to be put on no-fly lists.

The Washington Post — in an editorial — accused the Federal Aviation Administration of dragging its feet on creating a national no-fly list for disorderly passengers.

According to the FAA, there were roughly 6,000 incidents involving unruly passengers in 2021. More than 4,000 were related to face masks. However, only 350 of those incidents involved action from law enforcement.

In January 2021, the FAA administrator enacted a new zero-tolerance policy for unruly and dangerous behavior, raising fines up to $37,000 and putting out a series of public service announcements.

A plane prepares for a flight during holiday travel at Hartsfield-Jackson Altanta International Airport.

Justice Dept. To Prioritize Prosecuting Violence On Flights

The Justice Department says it will prosecute passengers who assault airline crew members, or endanger the safety of other passengers on flights.


The American Civil Liberties Union argues that the creation of a no-fly list for unruly passengers would be a "civil liberties nightmare." It questions whether or not such a list could be maintained fairly.

Meanwhile, the CEO of Delta Airlines recently wrote a letter to the Justice Department saying that an FBI no-fly list would help prevent such incidents, which he said had increased 100% since 2019.