FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 6, 2022
Contact: Denise Romano, firstname.lastname@example.org
Protection from Abusive Passengers Act Can’t Be Passed Soon Enough, We Need the Banned Passenger List Now!
The Transport Workers Union of America, the nation’s largest airline union representing over 65,000 aviation workers, is encouraged by the introduction of the Protection from Abusive Passengers Act which will protect airline crew members, security screening personnel, and passengers by banning abusive passengers from commercial aircraft flights.
The TWU has been calling for a Banned Passenger List since the fall of 2021, as assaults against aviation workers have skyrocketed. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), as of March 28, there have been 1035 unruly passenger reports and 668 mask-related incidents reported, with only 302 investigations initiated and 136 FAA enforcement action cases initiated. The FAA reported a total of 5,981 passenger incidents in 2021, which is a historic increase from previous years.
Despite the severity and frequency of these events, not a single passenger who has assaulted a ground service worker has been prosecuted under federal law. This bill has the potential to be a game changer. Introduced by Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA-15) and Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), it will implement a list of “abusive passengers” – those who intimidated, threatened or assaulted an aviation worker. Any individual on the list would be prohibited from boarding any commercial aircraft.
“Our members have had to deal with this violent, full moon atmosphere for far too long. The TWU strongly believes this Banned Passenger List will ease some of the pain our members are experiencing and make our skies safer,” said TWU International President John Samuelsen. “I’d like to thank Rep. Swalwell, Se. Reed and Rep. Fitzpatrick for introducing this very important piece of legislation.”
“Our members have already faced enough danger working through a global pandemic. Being assaulted by the passengers they have the responsibility of protecting is outrageous,” added TWU Air Division Director Gary Peterson. “This legislation is a fantastic step to put an end to this egregious behavior.”
“Imagine being assaulted 30,000 feet above ground, with nowhere to hide, trapped on an aircraft with your abuser. In some instances, workers face that same abuser on another flight, creating a dangerous situation. This legislation will force the abuser to find another way home – not on a commercial airplane,” said TWU International Vice President Thom McDaniel. “It’s time that everyone knows that assaults just won’t fly.”
The TWU represents more than 155,000 workers across the airline, railroad, universities, utilities and service sectors