Delta Air Lines has called on other airlines to share their “no fly” lists of unruly passengers.
The US carrier released a memo to its flight attendants on Wednesday, saying: "We’ve also asked other airlines to share their ‘no fly’ list to further protect airline employees across the industry – something we know is top of mind for you as well. A list of banned customers doesn’t work as well if that customer can fly with another airline."
Delta has banned some 1,600 unruly passengers from its flights since the beginning of the US’s mask mandate, which has seen a spike in disruptive incidents among flyers who refuse to wear a mask.
Competitor United Airlines has banned more than 1,000 people in that time.
According to government figures, the number has dropped since earlier in the year, but remains more than twice the level seen in late 2020.
In July, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) told Congress that there had been more than 85 physical assaults on TSA officers since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
On Thursday the chairman of the US Congress’s House Transportation Committee, Peter DeFazio, raised the idea of an airline-wide “no fly” list which could be held by the FAA, asking if there were any legal impediments to doing so.
DeFazio said he would support more criminal prosecutions of unruly passengers, and suggested that airports should stop selling takeaway drinks.
“Get a great big to-go cup with four shots in it and take it on the airplane - that needs to end,” he said.
Earlier this month, President Biden increased the fine for those who refuse to wear masks on US flights to a minimum of $500, saying: “If you break the rules, be prepared to pay — and by the way, show some respect.”