Delta Air Lines proposed banning mask-offender passengers from travel on all airlines. Their proposal had numerous problems, such as:
- collusion between the airlines, while possible to work through creates thorny problems
- due process, Delta was responding to government pressure to come up with a plan to address incidents, so would in effect have been acting as an agent of the government
- different standards, each airline has different review standards for placing someone on a list of offenders, sharing that list and have every airline honor it becomes denial of travel for arbitrary reasons
This would effectively place mask non-compliant passengers on a list with the same effect as a terrorism no fly list which was recently leaked online and whose legality the ACLU is currently challenging. Nonetheless the Biden administration has considered adding ‘domestic extremists’ to terrorism lists.
Now the Biden administration is getting behind a national no fly list though – at least to start – only for violent passengers. Remember that David Dao was accused by many of being violent when he was removed from a United Express plane. His face bloodied an officer’s hand.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said on Sunday that a federal no-fly list for violent airplane passengers should be evaluated.
“I think that should be on the table,” Buttigieg said of the potential list on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
By the way an Obama Homeland Security official wants the unvaxxed put on a national No Fly List 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.’
People get on the list by mistake (FBI agent checking the wrong box on the form or having a name similar to someone else) and even maliciously (such as retaliation for refusing to cooperate in an investigation). Denying the freedom of travel, without trial, is precisely the mob rule outside of the rule of law that we’re supposed to be pushing back on after last week’s events.
Violent passengers on planes should be addressed by prosecuting those passengers for their behavior and imposing punishments according to law, not by layering on administrative travel bans. Any punishment that encumbers an American’s right to travel should be subject to an appropriate level of judicial review and scrutiny.
In practice this tough talk probably just compensates for virtual non-enforcement of existing rules, despite press releases the FAA sends out to the contrary.