FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 23, 2021
Contact: Denise Romano, firstname.lastname@example.org
After Yet Another Flight Attendant Assault, TWU Renews Call for Unruly Passenger No-Fly List
WASHINGTON, DC – So far in 2021, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has recorded more than 5,000 incidents of unruly passenger behavior onboard aircraft and airports – a 2,000 percent increase over previous years.
On November 21, a Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 577 member who is a Flight Attendant for Allegiant Airlines, was attacked by a female passenger. He suffered two bruised ribs and a knee injury requiring a knee brace. Allegiant has blocked the unruly passenger from using her flight credit. However, she still has the ability to create a new profile and book on another flight. A video of this incident is available upon request.
For the Thanksgiving holiday this week, air traffic is expected to reach pre-pandemic levels, making security lines longer and airports cramped. According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), about two million people were expected to fly between November 19 and November 28, with the potential for some days to exceed that average greatly.
This is why the TWU is calling for a no-fly list for passengers who have assaulted airline workers.
“Being stressed out, tired or inconvenienced is no excuse for assaulting a Flight Attendant, Customer Service Agent, or any other worker. This type of aggressive behavior is completely unacceptable and the TWU will not tolerate any type of violence against our members, especially when performing their job,” said TWU Air Division Director Gary Peterson. “Airline workers are supposed to be protecting the traveling public – they shouldn’t have to be protected from them.”
The TWU believes this list could be managed similarly to the no-fly list. Airlines could send passenger names to the TSA or another regulator which would then compare them to the list and either prevent these abusive passengers from purchasing a ticket or require airlines to refund tickets that have already been purchased.
The TWU believes that anyone who has either been convicted of criminal assault or fined under the FAA’s civil authority in airports or onboard aircraft should be included on such a list. The federal statutes already exist that make this behavior illegal. This would be an additional consequence for assaulting workers on the job.
“A no-fly list for unruly passengers isn’t a silver bullet, but it will definitely make airline workers feel much safer. They will be guaranteed to never face the same abusive passenger twice,” said TWU International Vice President and Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant Thom McDaniel. “We’re fighting to ensure that everyone understands these types of assaults won’t fly.”
The TWU represents more than 150,000 members across the airline, railroad, transit, utilities, universities and service sectors