Skip to content

Delta proposes a second national 'no-fly' list — for unruly passengers

Sept. 24, 2021
3 min read
Delta proposes a second national 'no-fly' list — for unruly passengers
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

As the number of incidents with unruly air travelers keeps climbing, Delta Air Lines is out with its proposed solution.

This week, the Atlanta-based carrier shared two internal memos with its workforce, which include details about a proposed national "no-fly" list of unruly passengers.

According to the notes, Delta is urging airlines to create a unified list of banned passengers to that they can collectively work to minimize the number of inflight disruptions. Once your name is added to the list, you'd theoretically be banned from boarding a flight, regardless of which airline you're flying.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Want more airline-specific news? Sign up for TPG’s free new biweekly Aviation newsletter!

Right now, each airline keeps its own record of unruly passengers — if you're banned from flying Delta, nothing is stopping you from booking a United flight. (According to the memo, Delta already has more than 1,600 people on its own “no-fly” list.)

Delta's proposed "no-fly" list would essentially become the second national database of banned travelers, joining the existing one of known or suspected terrorists that are barred from boarding a flight and entering the U.S.

It wasn't immediately clear how Delta's proposal would work — how would airlines align on criteria, and who would be in charge of monitoring the database and keeping it updated? We reached out to the airline to learn more, but it didn't have any additional information to share.

Delta's latest move comes roughly four months after it tightened its own policies again unruly behavior.

In an update to its SkyMiles program terms and conditions, travelers who threaten, intimidate or otherwise cross a line with Delta employees could have their accounts closed. That includes the possible forfeiture of all accumulated mileage credit, any unused and upcoming award or upgrade certificates and all other associated membership benefits, including Medallion elite status. You could also be banned from flying with Delta in the future.

Unruly behavior in airports and on airplanes has dramatically increased since the outset of the pandemic.

Air rage crisis: Congress gets an earful on unruly flyer incidents aboard US flights

In January, the FAA announced a zero-tolerance policy for unruly behavior aboard flights to help quell the a round of disruptive behavior emerging that — at the time — was largely centered around the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6. Since then, compliance with mask rules and other pandemic-era stresses have been cited in a large number of inflight incidents.

On Thursday, the Federal Aviation Administration said that rates of unruly passengers aboard commercial flights have dropped by 50% since early 2021, though they're still more than double what they were at the end of 2020.

Last month, the FAA reached a major milestone in fines against unruly passengers — the agency has now fined passengers a total of over $1 million in 2021. Passengers who’ve received the highest penalties have been alleged by the FAA to have physically assaulted flight attendants and other passengers, snorted cocaine inflight and refused to follow the federal mask mandate.

Though unruly behavior continues to grab headlines, it’s important to note that it represents only a small fraction of the total number of travelers taking to the skies. Just six occurrences for every 10,000 flights as of last week, the FAA said.

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

TPG featured card

Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 3X points
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points60,000 points
For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent, Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases