Airline passengers convicted of bad behavior on flights should be treated with zero tolerance and placed on the national no-fly list, Bastian wrote in a letter Thursday to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, which Delta provided to the Associated Press.
“This action will help prevent future incidents and serve as a strong symbol of the consequences of not complying with crew member instructions on commercial aircraft,” Bastian wrote in the letter.
Bastian said that flight disruptions by passengers occur on only a small fraction of Delta's overall flights, but the rate of such incidents on the airline has risen by nearly 100% since 2019.
Delta Wants People Banned Over Mask Rules
The Atlanta-based airline has already placed about 1,900 people on Delta's own no-fly list for refusing follow masking requirements, according to the AP. The airline has referred over 900 names to the Transportation Security Administration for potential civil penalties.
The Federal Aviation Administration received 323 reports of unruly passengers year-to-date as of Feb. 1, according to the agency's website, with 205 incidents related to facemasks. The FAA has launched 73 investigations and 26 enforcement action cases have been initiated.
The agency also reported 4.9 incidents per 10,000 flights for the week ending Jan. 23, according to the website.
The FAA Has Zero Tolerance
The FAA asserts on its website that it has a zero-tolerance policy for unruly and dangerous behavior on flights, with violators subject to fines and jail time.
In December, the FAA and TSA established a partnership to share information with TSA on passengers facing fines for unruly behavior, which could result in the removal of passengers from TSA PreCheck screening eligibility. TSA will also share information with the FAA to identify and locate unruly passengers to serve them with penalty notices.