According to an article published by gazette.com, the FAA has reported 6,500 cases of unruly passengers since January of 2021 and out of this number, 4,600 are mask-related. The situation which is rapidly getting out of hand has led Delta Airline's head honcho, Ed Bastian to seek the Department of Justice's help in putting 80 of those passengers on a no-fly list.
In his letter to the Department of Justice, this is what Bastian had to say about why he was advocating for tougher measures to be put in place: "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 no-fly list is a list of names of people prohibited from boarding commercial airlines in order to travel to, from, or within the United States. According to a report, there were 16,000 people on the list which increased to 21,000 in 2012 and 47,000 in 2013.
Currently, the FAA is investigating 1,100 disruptive passengers. This is more than the total number of cases investigated over the previous seven years altogether. Their actions are not only creating an unsafe experience for other fliers but have resulted in several assaults on flight attendants.
According to this excerpt from the NYTimes, attorney general, Merrick B. Garland has issued a directive to put a priority on the prosecution of federal crimes on commercial planes: “Passengers who assault, intimidate or threaten violence against flight crews and flight attendants do more than harm those employees; they prevent the performance of critical duties that help ensure safe air travel.”