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Pete Buttigieg Says a Federal No-Fly List for Violent Passengers Should be Evaluated

AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Sunday that violent airline passengers being put on a no-fly list "should be on the table."

"The [Federal Aviation Administration] stands strongly with flight crews. It’s why you’re seeing some really harsh penalties and fines being proposed," Buttigieg said on CNN's "State of the Union."


"There is absolutely no excuse for this kind of treatment of flight crews in the air or any of the essential workers -- from bus drivers to aircrews who get people to where they need to be," he continued.

Buttigieg went on to say that it is "completely unacceptable to mistreat, abuse, or even disrespect flight crews," noting that flight attendants "have been on the frontlines of the pandemic from day one."

This comes after an American Airlines flight was diverted last week following an assault of a flight attendant. A passenger was arrested when the plane, which was headed for California from New York, landed in Denver. The attendant was taken to a local hospital to treat injuries that included broken bones in her face. 

"We are outraged by the reports of what took place on board," American Airlines said in a statement of the incident last week, according to CNBC. "Acts of violence against our team members will not be tolerated by American Airlines." 

"We have engaged local law enforcement and the FBI and we are working with them to ensure they have all the information they need," the statement continued. "The individual involved in this incident will never be allowed to travel with American Airlines in the future, but we will not be satisfied until he has been prosecuted to the full extent of the law. This behavior must stop, and aggressive enforcement and prosecution of the law is the best deterrent."


Earlier this month, President Joe Biden said he had directed the Department of Justice to “deal with” the recent surge in violent and unruly passengers aboard airplanes.

One in five flight attendants said in July that they had witnessed physical altercations involving passengers this year, The Associated Press reported. 

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