Eight Republican senators have written a letter to the Justice Department registering their “strong opposition” to a federal do-not-fly list for unruly passengers convicted of disrupting U.S. flights. The senators argue passengers who resist mask requirements aboard flights should not be compared to terrorists. This follows over 4,000 incidents in 2021 in which passengers became hostile or violent aboard flights when ordered to comply with a federal mask mandate. Just last week, a passenger aboard a Delta flight tried to open an emergency door at high altitude, endangering the lives of everybody aboard. The passenger later told the FBI he was trying to get other passengers to film him sharing anti-vaccine views.
Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants, said, “We’ve been punched, kicked, spit on, and sexually assaulted. This puts everyone at risk and disrupts the safety of flight, which is never acceptable and every single one of the Senators who signed this letter knows full well what is at stake if we leave a gap in aviation safety and security.”