AG Garland orders tougher crackdown on rowdy airline passengers

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The federal government has ordered tougher crackdown on unruly airline passengers, instructing states to prioritize prosecuting rowdy passengers as millions of Americans travel for Thanksgiving.

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US Attorney General Merrick Garland issued instructions in a memo on Wednesday, saying that disorderly passengers are interfering with the critical jobs of employees at airlines “that help ensure safe air travel.”

“Passengers who attack, threaten or threaten violence against flight crew and flight attendants do more than harm those employees; they prevent the performance of vital duties that help ensure safe air travel.” do,” Garland said.

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“Similarly, when passengers commit violent acts against other passengers in the proximity of a commercial aircraft, the conduct puts everyone in danger,” he said.

In the order, the Justice Department noted that federal law prohibits “assaults, threats and threats of violence that interfere with flight crew and flight attendants.”

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Airlines have seen a huge increase in the number of uncontrolled passenger incidents this year, including Over 5,300 examples informed of,

On Monday, the Federal Aviation Administration revealed The agency received around 300 reports of passengers being disturbed due to alcohol and drugs. Of the total reported, more than 3,800 passengers refused to wear face coverings, as mandated on flights.

Garland’s memo claims that rowdy passengers “prevent the performance of vital duties that help ensure safe air travel.”
Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Earlier this year, the Transportation Security Administration reintroduced self-defense courses for flight attendants to counter the growing number of unruly passengers.

This year, the FAA launched more than 1,000 investigations stemming from complaints—the most since 1995 when the agency began keeping track.

The FAA has also created an information-sharing protocol with the Department of Justice to ensure that the department is aware of criminal conduct occurring on flights.

The protocol refers to dozens of incidents reported by the FAA to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Garland’s memo noted.

According to the FAA, there were more than 5,300 uncontrolled passenger incidents last year.
According to the FAA, there were more than 5,300 uncontrolled passenger incidents last year.
Photo by Joe Redl/Getty Images

“The Justice Department is committed to using its resources to prevent violence, threats, threats of violence and other criminal behavior that endanger the safety of passengers, flight crew and flight attendants on commercial aircraft,” Garland said Wednesday. put it.”

The memo came the day before Thanksgiving because, according to AAA, about 48.3 million people were expected to travel at least 50 miles from home on vacation.

“We want people to see New Orleans, Seattle, Fort Lauderdale, or Grandma’s,” Sarah Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA International, tells SELF. told axios, We don’t want to take them to jail.

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