Flight attendant union calls for pro-Trump rioters to be banned from flights home

Danielle Zoellner
·2 min read
<p>A fight attendants union has called for rioters to be unable to board flights to return home from Washington DC</p> (AFP via Getty Images)

A fight attendants union has called for rioters to be unable to board flights to return home from Washington DC

(AFP via Getty Images)

The country’s largest flight attendant union has called for pro-Trump rioters to be barred from getting back on planes and flying home following the events that took place in Washington DC on Wednesday.

Sara Nelson, international president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, condemned the “mob mentality behavior” displayed on multiple flights to Washington DC prior to the riots that took place at the US Capitol.

“The mob mentality behavior that took place on several flights to the DC area yesterday was unacceptable and threatened the safety and security of every single person onboard,” Ms Nelson said in a Wednesday statement.

“Some of the people who traveled in our planes yesterday participated in the insurrection at the Capitol today,” she continued. “Their violent and seditious actions at the Capitol today create further concern about their departure from the DC area.”

Follow live for the latest fallout from pro-Trump riots at US Capitol

The statement ended by saying that “acts against our democracy, our government, and the freedom we claim as Americans must disqualify these individuals from the freedom of flight.”

The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA represents more than 500,000 crew members with United, Alaska, Delta Air Lines, and a dozen other carriers.

Ms Nelson called on law enforcement, the Transportation Security Administration, the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the Department of Transportation to intervene in the situation to help protect crew members and passengers. This intervention would entail “keeping all problems on the ground.”

It was not clear how the union wanted to enforce keeping the rioters from boarding planes.

One incident that happened on an American Airlines flight to Dulles International Airport occurred earlier this week. Video footage shared on Twitter showed two passengers shouting and cursing at each other before a flight attendant had to intervene. Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, a Republican, was also targeted with verbal attacks by multiple people at an airport on Tuesday.

These incidents, among others, sparked Julie Hedrick, president of the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, to release a statement saying the union is “incredibly concerned about recent politically motivated incidents on board passenger aircraft.”

“Regardless of one’s political beliefs, the cabin of a commercial aircraft must, out of necessity, be a calm environment for the safety of everyone on board,” she said.

Interfering with a flight crew member’s work is a federal crime and the offenders could face up to a $25,000 fine.

Airlines have taken several precautions to protect their crew members during this week’s events, including moving layover employees from the downtown Washington DC area. Alcohol services also ceased on American Airline flights to and from airports near Washington DC.

American Airlines and Delta Air Lines have both released statements saying they were working closely with law enforcement agencies to insure the safety of flight crew members and passengers on these flights.

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