Delta has requested different airlines–its competitors–to share their “no-fly” lists of passengers who’ve been banned from the airline due to disruptive habits and/or mistreatment of airline workers. That may enable all airways to contemplate banning these passengers.

The airline says it has greater than 1,600 individuals on its no-fly listing, and United says it has over 1,000 individuals on its listing. Many other airlines, together with American, Southwest, JetBlue, Frontier, Spirit, and Alaska have their very own no-fly lists as effectively.

Delta introduced it had made the request in a memo to its flight attendants proper earlier than the beginning of congressional hearings on air rage this week. The memo was signed by Kristen Manion Taylor, the airline’s senior vp of in-flight providers and considered by a number of information shops. “An inventory of banned prospects would not work as effectively if that buyer can fly with one other airline,” she wrote.

Delta desires the lists from a number of airways to be mixed into one nationwide no-fly listing that every one airways might use to guard their passengers and workers. (This might be separate from the FBI’s no-fly listing of suspected terrorists.) To this point, no different airways have responded publicly to the thought.

Air rage is on the rise.

The rationale for the listening to, and for Delta’s proposal, is that incidents of unruly passenger habits have been on the rise this 12 months. The F.A.A. mentioned on the listening to that this 12 months’s variety of incidents is twice as excessive as final 12 months’s. Teddy Andrews, a flight attendant for American, testified that when he requested a passenger who was not consuming or ingesting to placed on his masks, the passenger refused, utilizing a racial slur. After a number of extra racially-charged insults, the passenger added, “This whole virus is a giant faux.” That will need to have been particularly onerous for Andrews to listen to, since he spent 10 days in intensive care final 12 months with Covid-19 and got here very near dying. He testified that he nonetheless will get debilitating complications due to it. 

Sadly, this type of expertise is more and more frequent for Andrews and all flight attendants. “Today I come to work anticipating some type of disrespect or air rage,” he mentioned. “I’ve misplaced rely of the variety of occasions I’ve been insulted only for making an attempt to do my job.” He added, “It seems like flight attendants have turn into the goal for every kind of frustrations that some individuals are feeling.”

I believe he is precisely proper about that. The previous 12 months has deepened political and different divisions on this nation, in addition to divisions over pandemic-related precautions resembling sporting a masks or getting a vaccine. Mix that with this summer season’s frequent flight cancellations and overcrowded planes, and you’ve got a recipe for precisely the type of habits Andrews has been subected to.

Making a nationwide no-fly listing would additionally profit passengers (a minimum of the non-disruptive ones) as a result of impolite or violent habits is not only a drawback for airline employees, it is an issue for everybody on the airplane. On a Washington D.C.-to-Phoenix flight after the Capitol riot in January, some passengers have been so problematic that the pilot threatened to divert the airplane to Kansas. The menace labored they usually calmed down, but when they hadn’t each particular person on that airplane would have been pressured to land within the incorrect vacation spot. 

What I like finest about Delta’s method is that it made its announcement to not the press or to the federal government however to its flight attendants. It was a really public acknowledgement that these front-line workers are pressured to deal each day with a tough scenario that isn’t their fault and is past their management. Whether or not or not the nationwide no-fly listing turns into a actuality, Delta has completed what each employer should–signaled to its public-facing workers that it has their again. Let’s hope the opposite airways agree, not only for the sake of flight attendants, however for everybody who ever flies.

The opinions expressed right here by columnists are their very own, not these of

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