Delta Air Lines asked the U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday to add unruly passengers to the national "no fly" list, saying there needs to be "zero tolerance for any behavior that interferes with flight safety."
In a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, company CEO Ed Bastian said "the rate of incidents with unruly passengers on Delta has increased nearly 100 percent since 2019" and such federal action is greatly needed.
Bastian wants "any person convicted of an on-board disruption on a national, comprehensive, unruly passenger 'no-fly' list that would bar that person from traveling on any commercial air carrier."
"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," the airline chief added.
The CEO called on "our aviation partners to share their unruly passenger 'no fly' list to ensure individuals who have endangered the safety and security of our people do not go on to do so on another carrier."
A representative for the Transportation Security Administration, which enforces the FBI “no fly” list of potential terrorist threats, declined comment on the Delta request.
But TSA spokesman R. Carter Langston added: "It is quite comforting for all passengers to know that both the private sector and public sector are working to find solutions to the problem of unruly passengers."
David Slotnick, senior aviation business reporter for travel blog The Points Guy, said he doesn't expect Washington to act on Delta's proposal.
"Travelers are nervous about it (unruly passengers). They're worried about it. They'll be happy to see this kind of action (request)," Slotnick said.
"But at the same time, the actual rate of this (unruly behavior on planes) is still actually so, so low compared to the number of people actually traveling."
A representatives for the Department of Justice could not be immediately reached for comment on Friday.
Increased incidents of passengers behaving badly on commercial flights prompted the Federal Aviation Administration to mount a publicity campaign last year: “Unruly behavior doesn’t fly.”
Just this week, a Fort Lauderdale-to-Atlanta Delta flight was forced to turn around due to two unruly passengers.