American Airlines CEO Confirms U.S. Capitol Rioters Being Added To Government No Fly List

On Thursday’s Delta Air Lines earnings call, the carrier said “if the TSA is able to identify individuals [who stormed capitol building] you’ll have people added to the no fly list.”

American Airlines CEO Doug Parker confirmed this in a meeting with pilots this week

[W]e’re doing everything we can to make sure it doesn’t get on the aircraft. that includes working with the TSA and the FBI getting people put on the No Fly List based on what they know about who did what last week and about what we know about what people may be planning for next week.

Let me underscore, people are being added to the government’s unreviewable ban on air travel based on what bureaucrats think some people may plan to do in the future – at their destination, rather than as a threat to aircraft.

Union boss Sara Nelson first called for those who participated in disruption of the electoral count last week to be banned from flying on U.S. commercial airlines. That was followed by the Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee Bennie Thompson (D-MS) demanding this as well.

The ‘No Fly List’ is the government’s pre-crime profiling that keeps people off of U.S. airlines and airlines flying to the U.S. It’s a secret list that people haven’t been entitled to know how they got on or to confront the evidence relied upon to put them on it. Legally there is very little recourse, and when challenged the government claims ‘state secrets.’

Bear in mind, if you want to mood affiliate and like any punishment imposed on people who took part in last week’s events, that if it’s justified being used against people not yet convicted of crimes (and where the No Fly List isn’t included provided for as a punishment in law) then it will be used against other unpopular people later. Expansions of power will be used later by the people you hate when they have power. You need to be comfortable with the next President Trump having and using this same power.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Insurrection is a bit different than other future crimes. I am NOT a fan of the no-fly list, but if ANYTHING deserves getting listed on it, going against the US Government in an attempt to overthrow them would rate high on the list…

  2. I think the no-fly list program should be tossed in its entirety for the reasons you’ve noted, but that doesn’t appear likely to happen anytime soon. Therefore, I’m happy to seeing it be used against actual white terrorists instead of just potential brown terrorists. As a side benefit, maybe it being used against ‘good people’ will bring it closer to its demise.

  3. “Let me underscore, people are being added to the government’s unreviewable ban on air travel based on what bureaucrats think some people may plan to do in the future – at their destination, rather than as a threat to aircraft.”

    I understand your hesitation to penalize people on what they *might* do in the future, but that’s entirely detached from what actually happened here. We don’t let known terrorists on planes for a reason, period. This is the program being used well and as it was designed.

  4. Ban them all forever. What they did was deplorable. Hopefully, many of them won’t be able to fly due to being in prison.

  5. Cool. But kind of strange. Why is it they’ve never thought about doing this with the exponentially more numbers of left-wing rioters throughout the years? (Rhetorical question of course. The Left’s capacity for blatant hypocrisy and double-standards is a given.)

  6. And the 2020 rioters, looters and arsonists from Portland, Seattle, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Minneapolis and elsewhere were treated similarly, right? Oh, my mistake. They were all peaceful protestors according to the liberal (Read: anti-Trump) media.

  7. If someone is under federal indictment for their involvement in an attempted coup, they should be on the Do Not Fly list until their case is resolved. If they are found not guilty or their case is dismissed, they should be removed from the Do Not Fly list.

    If someone has previously been disruptive in an airport or on an airplane (e.g., harassing public officials in an airport), they should also be on the Do Not Fly list.

    That’s not overreach.

  8. Gary, sorry, you’re on the wrong side of this. I get that you come from a libertarian point of view but you’re missing the point. This is bigger and way more important than any libertarian point you attempt to make.

  9. Our criminal justice system is founded on due process. It does not matter what the Capitol rioters did. Due process demands that they be charged, tried before a jury of their peers, and sentenced to the statutory penalty for their crimes (which does not include a travel ban). Extra-judicial punishments based on mob outrage is the stuff of banana republics and dictators.

  10. I actually do not understand why this is news.
    The US has been putting “potential” terrorists on the no fly list for two decades. Almost none of the people on the no fly list are convicted terrorists.
    To me, either you need to believe that the no fly list is a valid policy and anybody who entered the capitol should be on it (there is no reason to believe that insurrection by entering the capitol is the only possible method of insurrection they would use), or you believe that there should not be a no fly list except for those convicted of plotting to use planes for terroristic purposes (which would be a very short list populated by those that have no hope of ever getting on a plane anyway).
    I don’t see any reason to decide which potential terrorists should or should not be on the list. If there should be a no fly list, those that entered the capitol should clearly be on it. I would suggest that any who entered and took over a police station or attacked any other government institution in the summer riots would also be very good candidates for that list. Also, the armed men who invaded the Michigan state house would also be good candidates. Given the secrecy around the list, none of us have any way of knowing if any of those people are already on the list.

  11. So, just to be clear Doug, you believe that there should not be a no fly list, as that is not a prescribed penalty for any crime that I am aware of.

  12. You don’t even have to wait for the next GOP president. The next time a cop is involved in some kind of event the left responds to with rioting, I doubt you will see calls to add them to the no-fly list. Thie is purely political. Yes it will likely be used by GOP presidents but the media will feign outrage at it and the GOP cave like the cowards that they are.

    On a different note, why are airlines wanting to put tens of thousands of new people onto the no-fly list during bad economic times? You would think they would want any business they could get at this point. A ban now also means they likely wont be future customers.

  13. I’ve always been against the no fly list. Really bad idea. Let the judicial system do its job. My concern is that folks would use it selectively and politically

    And here we are. Apparently no such scrutiny of BLM/ANTIFA? If your going to mete out justice do it equally.

  14. @farnorthtrader – Yes, I absolutely oppose the No-Fly List as currently composed. If the government wants to prohibit foreign nationals that it suspects of terrorist ties from flying into/through the US they are welcome to, but US Citizens are entitled to due process.

  15. if gary posts more articles like this, he should be legally required to remove ‘thought leader in travel’ as his tagline. There are no thought-leader level thoughts in his post. in other words, count on fewer affiliate link clickthroughs with more drivel like this.

  16. I agree that there should be judicial review of people on the no fly list if they are not charged or convicted of criminal acts. That being said the capitol was attacked by terrorists and there is an imminent threat of more violence. I am totally ok with the ban for people who are assessed to be threats for the next few weeks. I really could care less about if the idea offends you. There are people who want to overthrow our government and the security of our country takes precedence over whether or not some people are not allowed to take a plane. Its weird that all of a sudden that now the no-fly list is such a concern for this blog given what has been happening to muslims for years.

  17. “You need to be comfortable with the next President Trump having and using this same power.:

    Uh he just was president and didn’t add BLM/ANTIFA protestors and rioters to the no fly list

  18. The No Fly List needs to be ruled unconstitutional on its face. And the NSA needs to be abolished. I don’t realistically expect that to happen anytime soon. I am in favour of the dissolution of the Union and the (hopefully) peaceful breakup of the USA.

  19. The No-fly list has been around for a long time and isn’t going anywhere. It was decided a long time ago what causes a person to get added to the list. Again, this isn’t new regardless of who is president.

    The question that should be asked is would you feel comfortable on a plane sitting beside someone that casually says, I just thought of a brilliant way to attack this or that…. If you think violent people don’t think of doing things like that, you’re probably wrong.

    My question is what was the ultimate goal of storming the Capital. Was one of them nominated to take over the government from within the capital. It’s sort of like saying I want to take half of a hill. Now what I will do with it, I didn’t plan for.

  20. I would guess that the management of the airlines are looking at it from a global perspective………..their employees don’t want to work in that environment and will sick out if they believe they aren’t protected………a family doesn’t want to travel in that environment and if it happens on their flight where a patriot stands to give their speech they may be scared enough to halt their future travel……..and then there is overwhelming evidence from seeing the capital riots that the social norms had been violated to such a degree that all citizens would be traumatized by…………..

  21. Won’t end well. Will just escalate tensions even further, and might lead to more violence. Also, absolutely will be used against anything republicans tag as a ‘threat to America’ if they win back the presidency.

    Biden’s term starting off VERY badly I’m afraid. I expect tough times ahead, and – this is off topic to this blog – moving from bull to bear on my stocks & other equities since I see now the economy and the country will only get worse. Biden’s going to have to face a very battled economy + foreign enemies testing him + half-(ish) the country hates him. Does not bode well.

  22. 100% agree with Gary. No-Fly List is wrong to begin with and applying it here is even worse.

    @CHRIS is spot-on that the word “insurrection” is being completely misapplied here. As is “stormed”. While a few people apparently did break some windows, there is video evidence of Capitol police stepping aside and letting the protestors in. It is a public building, after all. One which a very small number of people entered during a protest…and stayed within the velvet ropes.

    Aside from the podium that was stolen, and some broken glass, very little was done by the protestors who entered. One of them was unjustifiably shot by a cop. If she had been a leftist protestor and a minority, there would have been days of riots over her murder.

    Labeling the protestors and even the handful of petty criminals who stole a podium and broke some things as “terrorists” is absurd.

  23. I disagree. I don’t think that domestic terrorists should be afforded any special considerations. In fact, this is pretty weak sauce as even a starter on punishments.

  24. With regard to the following quoted words: “Let me underscore, people are being added to the government’s unreviewable ban on air travel based on what bureaucrats think some people may plan to do in the future – at their destination, rather than as a threat to aircraft.”

    Let me underscore that people being added to the government’s no-fly list based on what bureaucrats think some people may plan to do in the future — at their destination, rather than as a threat to aircraft — is not new. And the US has been doing this for around two decades.

    With regard to US persons on the No-Fly List, it is a reviewable ban. It’s just not necessarily fast, easy and cheap or a guarantee to get off it.

    With regard to the people who trespassed and stormed into the Capitol to try to stop the normal functioning of Congress as per the US Constitution, they aren’t patriots; those seditious criminal trespassers engaged in insurrection on January 6th are pseudo-patriots who give life to Samuel Johnson’s quote that “‘Patriotism’ is the last refuge of the scoundrel”. Carrying a US flag and chanting USA USA doesn’t make an American a patriot when such American is a seditious scoundrel trying to disrupt the peaceful transfer of presidential power as due under the US Constitution following an election for POTUS conducted in compliance with the US Constitution.

  25. Ryan,

    Just because a building is a public building does not mean that any and every part of the building is open to the general public without condition.

    Lots of things were stolen from various offices in the Capitol building. Including some personal electronic items. The criminal trespassers included some thieving rapscallions.

    You can continue to try to downplay what your Lord Trump’s supporters did to and inside the US Capitol, but your ideological fellow travelers did more than just steal one podium and break some. The Lord Trump-worshipping female USAF veteran shot by US law enforcement inside the Capitol was shot because that woman was trying to break through the locked and law-enforcement-barricaded doors into a room that had some Congressmembers and staff sheltering in place because there. If she hadn’t tried to play “superhero” for Trump that day by attempting to violently force her way in via that portal, she wouldn’t have been shot. Trying to violently bust into a room full of government LEO-protectees is not lawful protest; it’s criminal and comes with the risk of being shot.

  26. Ryan,

    Just because a building is a public building does not mean that any and every part of the building is open to the general public without condition.

    Lots of things were stolen from various offices in the Capitol building. Including some personal electronic items. The criminal trespassers included some thieving rapscallions.

    You can continue to try to downplay what your Lord Trump’s supporters did to and inside the US Capitol, but your ideological fellow travelers did more than just steal one podium and break some glass.

    The Lord Trump-worshipping female USAF veteran shot by US law enforcement inside the Capitol was shot because that woman was trying to break through the locked, law-enforcement-barricaded doors into a room that had some Congressmembers and staff sheltering in place there. If that Trump-worshipping insurrectionist — and oath violator — hadn’t tried to play “superhero” for Trump that day by attempting to violently force her way in via that portal, she wouldn’t have been shot. Trying to violently bust into a locked room full of government LEO-protectees is not lawful protest; it’s criminal and comes with the risk of being shot by law enforcement.

  27. Get rid of the TSA’s “ID (checking) is security” nonsense and the surveillance state machinery aimed at domestic airline passengers, and with it comes the effective end of the No-Fly List enforcement for domestic flights.

  28. So a guy wearing a beaver tail, a viking horned hat, and a roman lance managed to almost overthrow the governemnt of a country with 13 aircraft carriers and numerous ICBM…. Yeah right… that sounds goofy… Oh wait, I thought the threat to democracy was King Kim Jon Un…

  29. The rioters were terrorists. There should be no concern about those people being blocked for flying. After all, who knows when they will cause a plane to be used as a weapon, all for the glorification of their Fuhrer.
    Of course @cargocult was probably in this crowd, so he is objecting to the steps being taken,

  30. I also support adding domestic terrorists to the no-fly list. I don’t want to get on an airplane with one, ever. This is a very serious and urgent situation.

  31. I bet none of the BLM/ANTIFA rioters are barred, despite them damaging almost 200 public buildings and resulting in the death of 23 people. That’s definitely not also domestic terrorism. ALL rioters are terrorists. There were no peaceful BLM protests. Anyone associated with ANTIFA or maga is who is truly at fault for what is wrong with the United States.

  32. Gary,

    Thank you for this. When I was a young man, I was a classical liberal but have grown conservative over time. While my politics has changed, my desire to maintain and protect civil liberties – even for those with whom I disagree – has never wavered.

  33. You people aren’t seeing the positive here: Lots of unusable airline miles may be sold very cheaply.

  34. Better idea: Should we ban them FROM or sentence them TO Snowpiercer?
    Another thought: I’m definitely dressing as “horned man” for Halloween,

  35. They can just fly private on #DementiaDonnie’s jet. Billionaires can afford to take lots of members of his own private army. They do so like to raise their arms in that old-fashioned Adolph salute.
    .

  36. Hello !! If you’re on the #noflylist you cannot vote or get a license to carry FYI. so great news !!!

  37. If those brilliant rioters (who want to time travel to perfect maga year 1776 – really?) had seized the U.S. government, our whole public infrastructure of planes, trains, roads, etc. would be lawless mayhem. We would all be on the no fly list.

    Seriously, terrorists and nazis should not be allowed anywhere near any airplane. Flight crews should be focused on our safety and not be distracted by an agitated Q follower.

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