Buttigieg Says No-Fly List For Violent Passengers ‘On The Table’


Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Sunday that a no-fly list for violent airplane passengers should be considered. Buttigieg told CNN that a federal list should be “on the table” as the government grapples with a persistent increase in unruly behavior on airliners. “There is absolutely no excuse for this kind of treatment of flight crews in the air or any of the essential workers—from bus drivers to air crews who get people to where they need to be,” he said. Most airlines keep their own lists of banned passengers and American added a name last week after a particularly extreme incident.

A man was arrested when the flight from JFK to John Wayne Airport in California diverted to Denver after a flight attendant was assaulted. The flight attendant suffered a broken nose and broken facial bones after she was allegedly punched twice by a passenger she had accidentally bumped with a cart. “The individual involved in this incident will never be allowed to travel with American Airlines in the future, but we will not be satisfied until he has been prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” American Airlines said in a statement. “This behavior must stop, and aggressive enforcement and prosecution of the law is the best deterrent.”

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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  1. These dirtbags who can’t control themselves should be permanently banned from flying. I can’t imagine why their needs to be any discussion. Assaulting a crew member should be a felony.

  2. Back in the day before we were locked into the cockpit, I can only remember two times I had to stroll into the cabin to discuss someone’s poor decorum and the problem was solved. The low life now creating physical altercations on airlines, should be arrested upon arrival and given a heavy fine and perhaps a small room in a facility while they get a chance to think, and without question, never again fly on any of our 121 operators. I don’t see the need for discussion at the Federal level other than writing and putting into law the above solution.

  3. Why would it be “on the Table”? Good Grief, it should have been automatic. Anyone interfering with a crew member should be fined, jailed for at least 5 years and “caned”.

    • That’s right ! Make people lives miserable, pass laws that make it legal to do so, expect no resistance then make examples out of anyone stepping out of line by physically beating them into submission. Did I get that right? Which country did you say you were from?

  4. In general I make it a point to be against anything Buttigieg proposes but this is appropriate.

    Modern air travel sucks more than usual. The mask nonsense and congested airports, cancellations, and general attitude is all somewhat worse than usual but it is what it is.

    Flying remains a privilege not a right so an individual can fly or not fly at their discretion, but if they decide to fly best to not be a total arse on the plane.

  5. No excuse for assaulting crew members on airliners. Would be nice if local law enforcement would actually enforce the law. On the other hand be very careful what you wish for. Remember how badly the current unconstitutional no fly list was implemented and currently carried out? Last thing we need is another unconstitutional no fly list.

    • +1 “enforce the law” There would be no need for “NO-Fly List”. No-Fly List are used against the people with opposing views to the controllers of ‘The LIST’. This is why we should be teaching history… so we don’t repeat it.

    • Flying is a privilege so I am uncertain about the unconstitutionality of a no-fly list. Bear in mind I do agree that the original implementation after 9/11 was byzantine in application. The secrecy that surrounded how people were put on or the almost impossible effort to get a name removed (for example a baby) indicated a bad application of a policy.

      In this case I have no issue supporting a no-fly list established by passengers that put air crew and other passengers at risk. I would propose the liest4 be publicly accessible and someone put on that list gets added only after performing an extreme act that is noted by the airline. That person could challenge it, but at their expense.

      As other pointed out, this should have ben implemented months ago. Sure, maybe wearing a mask 9or even better requiring vaccination) can irritate some, but once the FAA put such policies in place then compliance is mandatory and if a person does not want to wear a mask or get vaccinated, find some other means to travel.

      Between the people, airlines screwing up flights schedules with little compassion to those impacted, I know I would rather not get on a part 121 plane for the near future.

      • You are quite right, there is not a right to fly. So if the airlines want to keep someone off their planes that is their right. A government no fly list is not constitutional since that makes an accusation of a crime without due process. As far as I know no one has ever been convicted of a crime while attempting to board an airliner while on the government’s no fly list. There have been several persons who were denied boarding because for some reason their name was on a no fly list. Ask anyone who has gone through this what it takes to get off the list. So no I do not support any government issued no fly lists including the ones now in place.

      • While I agree with the idea that people should be orderly on the flying busses. Ignoring what makes them uncomfortable because you are happy that your politics are prevailing is the same as saying suck it up. That is what you are saying right? That is never going to go over well and it’s not good business either. Public lists of unruly people seem like a good idea, until you make this normal, then there will quickly be other lists of people we don’t like, one perhaps with your name on it. Just think about it for a bit. I just ask you be careful what you wish for and for now, do like the rest of us, stay in your seat and well – shut up. Most of the time I do a good job of that, but I’m not flying today. I still bet you’d like to put me on a list.

        • I can see where you are going but the violence we are seeing on commercial flights is unacceptable. If you commit an act of violence on a plane you should be barred from further flights for at least a decade. I believe the airlines themselves can bar a customer who is violent on their planes now. If people pay attention this will go no further then violent people. If not I could se where it will be expanded.

  6. This just makes sense. I you commit an act of violence on a plane you should be barred from flying for a very long time. Flying is a voluntary activity, the airlines have rules, the government has rules they must also follow. Don’t like it don’t fly.

  7. The U.S. has Laws on the books that allow a ‘List’ of convicted criminals. Once accused of a crime, then the Accused is given ‘Due Process’ (Judged by 12 of Their Peers), if found guilty, you’ll be charged with a crime. “Innocent Until Proven Guilty”. Interrupting/endangering a flight is a Federal Crime. Felons are punished and ‘listed’ as ‘felons’ and have limited freedoms. Which would include your right to freely travel.

    What we don’t want is what’s happening everyday. The “Media” and Social Media is convicting people without ‘Due Process’ then they “DOX” them. If you don’t know what ‘Doxxing’ is: “To publish an individual’s personal information” like street address and phone number for the promoting of vigilante acts. The ‘NO-FLY List’ is just Doxxing. There’s No Due Process. Just because it’s the government and/or airlines that are doing the Doxxing doesn’t make it right.