Flight attendants are tired of being beaten

They are kicked, pushed, slapped, spit on, punched, and sometimes bitten.

Now the nation’s flight attendants are resisting. With bipartisan support in Congress, they are pushing for a law that would create a no-fly list to prevent abusive passengers from traveling on commercial flights.

That legislation can’t come soon enough, as flight attendants prepare for what looks like a summer full of weary passengers tired of flight delays and cancellations. We commend the support of Dallas-based Southwest Airlines and Fort Worth-based American Airlines, two of the nation’s largest commercial air carriers that have endorsed the proposed law.

The Abusive Passengers Protection Act was recently introduced into the House and Senate in response to the outburst of rioting passenger cases last year. If passed, the law would place anyone convicted or fined as a result of assaulting, threatening or intimidating any crew member on the TSA’s no-fly list to maintain and manage. While a person can eventually be removed from the list, that person will be permanently banned from the TSA PreCheck and US Customs and Border Protection global entry programs.

Reports of riotous passengers broke records last year, mostly due to COVID-19 mask mandates on commercial flights. In 2021, the FAA investigated 1,105 serious incidents of riotous passengers, triple the previous record since the agency began collecting data in 1995. It took enforcement action against 350.

But even as mask mandates expire, many passengers are still causing problems on flights. As of this week, the agency has already investigated 515 incidents of disorderly conduct and taken enforcement action against 316 passengers. And we didn’t even make it to the Fourth of July.

The latest reports of flight delays and cancellations, due to airline staff shortages and weather problems, will likely mean many tired passengers will board flights this summer. Oftentimes, some of these passengers express their frustration with the flight attendants, disrupting other passengers and putting their safety at risk.

We hope to see a smooth passage of this measure that will keep abusive passengers on the ground where they belong.

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