Delta wants Justice Department to put unruly passengers on national 'no fly' list, report says

The airline calls on the federal government to "help prevent future incidents."

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Macy Meyer
Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines reportedly wants the Justice Department to place convicted unruly passengers on a national "no fly" list that would ban them from traveling on any US commercial airlines.

Delta CEO Ed Bastian sent a letter to US Attorney General Merrick Garland stating that the no-fly list "will help prevent future incidents and serve as a strong symbol of the consequences of not complying with crew member instructions on commercial aircraft," according to report Friday from Reuters

There has been a spike in unruly passenger cases reported over the last year since the US enacted a national mask mandate on airplanes and in airports. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, there were 4,290 mask-related incidents reported in 2021. The FAA also imposed more than $1 million in fines against unruly passengers in 2021.

So far in 2022, the FAA says there have been 323 incidents of unruly passengers -- with 205 being face mask-related incidents. The mask requirement, which also applies to buses and trains, is in place until March 18 due to concerns about the omicron variant. 

In November, Garland asked US attorneys across the country to prioritize prosecution of federal crimes committed aboard aircraft. Delta also already created a "no fly" list of its own, consisting of nearly 1,900 people who have failed to comply to the requirements of the mask mandate, according to Reuters. The company is reportedly encouraging other airlines to do the same.

Delta and the DOJ didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.