A bipartisan group of lawmakers have reintroduced legislation with the goal to improve airline safety, protect flight staff and passengers.
The Protection from Abusive Passengers Act, originally introduced in April 2022, is designed to improve air travel safety by holding unruly passengers accountable if they assault a crewmember or fellow passenger.
Last week, U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and U.S. Representatives Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) revealed the bipartisan and bicameral legislation which would direct the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to "create and manage a program" that bars passengers who are fined or convicted of serious physical violence or intimidation from flying on commercial aircraft.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) investigated 831 unruly-passenger incidents in 2022, up from 146 just four years ago.
The legislation has been endorsed by airline industry leaders and labor organizations, including: Air Line Pilots Association; Association of Flight Attendants, CWA; Association of Professional Flight Attendants; Transport Workers Union of America (TWU), AFL-CIO; Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO; Communications Workers of America (CWA); American Airlines; Delta Air Lines; and Southwest Airlines.
“Flight attendants are the essential workers of our skies and critical to ensuring passengers get to their destination safely. But far too often, flight attendants have to worry about their own safety,” TWU International President John Samuelsen said in a statement.