Federal Air Marshals Spread Virus, Ordered To Fly While Awaiting Covid-19 Test Results

The Federal Air Marshal service may be the least effective law enforcement agency in the country – by far. There have been more air marshals arrested than people arrested by air marshals, and they cost about $200 million per arrest (not even conviction).

There was the air marshal who sued because he was denied his onboard meal choice, and the one who left his loaded gun in the bathroom (Godfather style). Another left a handgun in an airplane lavatory, it was discovered by a teenager. Then there was the one who pulled his service weapon on two civilians in a parking space dispute at New York JFK.

But all of these incidents only demonstrated incompetence or harmed a limited number of people. Now it turns out the federal government has ordered air marshals who may have Covid-19 to stay on the job while awaiting test results. Nearly 100 air marshals have been confirmed positive and at least one turned out to be a super-spreader.

According to internal emails, air marshals were told over the summer to ignore quarantine travel restrictions imposed at various times by states like Texas, Florida and New York.

Two air marshals based in different cities told Yahoo News that over the summer they’d both been put on missions — assigned flights — while they were waiting for their test to come back or after failed attempts to get tested. In both instances, the air marshals met up with colleagues in different cities, spending extended amounts of time with those teams, who later tested positive and then infected others in their hometowns.

“I was a superspreader, it pains me to say, but that’s what I was,” one air marshal who became infected with COVID-19 told Yahoo News.


    Liam Neeson in 2014 film “Non-Stop”

There have been thousands of cases of air marshal misconduct, and nothing has been done. Now air marshals are literally making travel less safe.

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. I mean, spread the virus through irresponsible behavior could literally be the description of the Trump Administration’s entire philosophy on COVID, so why should we be surprised by this story?

  2. No shock that this would happen under the Trump administration. The guy is going around holding rallies and spreading the virus. Its been documented his rallies are spreading the virus. Its almost like they are actively trying to spread the virus.

  3. Unfortunately, it’s time to accept that common decency, common courtesy, and even common sense are no longer part of the US culture.

  4. I’m willing to bet that they made the decision out of (what they saw as) no better alternative. Assuming 2 tests per week and 2 days to process each test, they didn’t have the personnel available to give each officer 4 days off per week.

    They couldn’t possibly hire new people, get them trained, and send them out immediately, so they did what they did. The only other alternative would be to have more flights without air marshals, but that runs the risk of exposing the agency as unnecessary (which is the biggest no-no of bureaucracy).

  5. @Babblespeak – we have definitely hit a new low over the past four years…give it a chance post-11/3 when President-elect Biden can start the long road of reunifying the country and putting in some sensible, science-based, truthful plans forward.

  6. Gary- Your bias is showing…….

    As you know, FAMs typically do not arrest since the arresting officer has to be in court. Kind of difficult to do when they fly all over the world. In the US, they turn the individual over to the FBI to make the arrest. You keep repeating the old story about the few arrests like it proves something.

  7. “I mean, spread the virus through irresponsible behavior could literally be the description of the Trump Administration’s entire philosophy on COVID, so why should we be surprised by this story?”

    Oh, yea Democrats must give credit where credit is due – Governor Cuomo'[s travel advisory requires individuals who have traveled to New York from areas with significant community spread to quarantine for 14 days. Except that he omitted New Jersey which has community spread equal to or in excess of all other states on the quarantine list. Own the actions of your people, like Chris Cuomo, who while quarantined at home with C-19 continued to travel and who while blaming people for not wearing masks , violated the mask policy of the building he was in. And we haven’t even talked about the maskless C-19 positive Dodger and the Dodger fans super spreader in the Democrat-rich state blessed with the likes of Pelosi and Harris. If you think Biden will be a unifier, wait until the Democrats try to alter the size of the Supreme Court. I suspect no matter who wins, we can look forward to four more years of undeclared civil war.

  8. I find this surprising based on what I do know about federal jobs/workers and the virus. Agencies that I know first hand were either closed from March onward for several months, or did work from home. Obviously many DOD facilities could not work from home and either simply closed or did 50% on/50% off each week (i.e., divide offices in 1/2 and the staff alternated working weeks but still got paid 100%).

    I’m mostly referring to offices in the MD/DC/VA area.

  9.  “The Federal Air Marshal service may be the least effective law enforcement agency in the country – by far. There have been more air marshals arrested than people arrested by air marshals, and they cost about $200 million per arrest (not even conviction).”Gary, From your comments it becomes obvious that you do not understand the Federal Air Marshall program. The service is actually quite effective and not only do Air Marshalss fly on flights, but there is a lot more going on in the background. I see the service as being quite effective, we have not had a repeat of 9/11, not to say the bad guys aren’t trying. There are two specific comments that really bothers me though and that are your statements that first there have been more Air Marshalls arrested than people they have arrested. And second your statement about thousands of cases of Air Marshall misconduct.In reference to the above two comments can you please substantiate/document your statements?

  10. Are there an non-left-wing none-Trump haters reading any of the blogs or have they left the sites because of the lib left-sided braindead-brainwashed comments by these readers!!!!

  11. @Gary Tritt, it is a logical fallacy to say that no repeat of 9/11 means the air marshals are effective. Most other countries don’t have air marshals and have also avoided such attacks. In Australia you can even carry liquids on domestic flights, yet no home-made bombs. It’s called security theater, it costs a lot of money, wastes people’s time and has no provable impact on public safety.

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