Delta Air Lines announced Thursday that it had placed over 1,600 passengers on its anti-masker no fly list since the outbreak of the pandemic. The airline would like to share names with other airlines.
Atlanta's airline is the most active in banning passengers who violate their face masks or other unruly behaviors. However, under Deltas plan, all passengers it has banned will be barred from flying with any other U.S-based carriers.
Except for a strictly controlled national security no fly list, which is mostly made up terrorists and extremely dangerous felines, the Federal Aviation Administration has no central list of unruly passenger lists that can be shared among airlines.
If Delta bans a passenger because of unruly behavior, it is generally possible for that passenger to simply buy a ticket with another airline. If Delta wins, however, a ban by one airline could mean a ban by all airlines.
After the FAA put U.S. airlines on notice to develop concrete plans to stop the flow of passenger incidents, the idea emerged. The FAA has given the airline industry just one week to present their ideas and another month to implement additional measures.
The U.S. airline industry's lawyers would argue that sharing passenger information for this limited purpose is not anti-competitive, provided the proper oversight is done fairly.
Customers who are on Delta's no-flylist do not know when it might be lifted. However, Delta chief executive Ed Bastian suggested that violators of federal regulations regarding face masks may be allowed to fly again after the federal ban is lifted.
The proposed system of a central no-fly list will allow passengers to be subject to fixed-term sanctions and to appeal to an independent adjudicator.
Delta also announced on Thursday that the COVID-19 vaccination rates among its U.S. workforce rose to 82% several weeks after it added a $200 monthly surcharge for healthcare premiums to employees who are not vaccinated.
Dr Henry Ting, Chief Health Officer at Deltas, dismissed a mandate for employee vaccinations during an interview with John Berman on CNN. He stated that Deltas knows how to protect their employees and customers.
United Airlines, which has a strict vaccine policy, claims that its employees were vaccinated at 97% among non-exempt workers.