Passengers banned from U.S. airlines top 2,700, with dozens added in wake of Capitol riot

www.cbsnews.com
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A spokesman for United Airlines said they had banned 60 people in the last week, and Alaska Airlines confirmed it banned 32 people.
During an Alaska Airlines flight from Washington, D.C. to Seattle last week, a number of passengers refused to wear masks and harassed crew members, the airline said. In response, Alaska banned 14 of the passengers on that Thursday flight — just some of a growing number of disruptive passengers airlines are putting on their own no-fly lists. And now the Federal Aviation Administration has announced it will start taking legal action over such behavior going forward.

Calling those passengers "rowdy" and "argumentative," Alaska Airlines said in a statement it has banned more than 300 passengers since August for violating its mask policy.

"Their behavior was unacceptable. Because of their actions and non-compliance, we have banned 14 of those passengers from future travel with us," the airline said. "We apologize to our other guests who were made uncomfortable on the flight. We will not tolerate any disturbance on board our aircraft or at any of the airports we serve."

The lists compiled by individual airlines — different from the federal no-fly list, which aims to block suspected terrorists from the skies — has swelled to more than 2,700 people, CBS News has confirmed. The flight bans grew out of mask requirements put in place due to the coronavirus. Most flight bans will last until those mask policies are suspended at the end of the pandemic.

Many of the bans have occurred in the last week, after the violent riot at the U.S. Capitol.

The order signed Wednesday by FAA Administrator Steve Dickson means unruly passengers will no longer get a warning or counseling, which the agency said had been common practice in such incidents.

"The FAA has seen a disturbing increase in incidents where airline passengers have disrupted flights with threatening or violent behavior. These incidents have stemmed both from passengers' refusals to wear masks and from recent violence at the U.S. Capitol," the FAA's announcement states.

While American Airlines refused to disclose the…
Kris Van Cleave
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