As of this weekend, Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian said the airline would ban passengers traveling to Washington, DC from checking firearms as part of heightened security measures before the inauguration.
“We are all on high alert based on the events of the past two weeks in Washington,” Bastian said in an interview on CNBC early Thursday.
Only law enforcement officials will be exempt from the ban.
Bastian said the airline would also add other security measures at airports and on seen and unseen planes in the coming days “as we look into the week ahead.”
When asked if he was concerned about passenger behavior in light of this year’s in-flight incidents, he said that 99.99% of Delta’s passengers “are really great and do a good job.”
“I don’t want to exaggerate,” he said. “I think this is a moment, hopefully, in tune with the outcry over the election results.”
Bastian said he was “happy” to see President Donald Trump’s call for calm and order on Wednesday evening.
“Hope this helps,” he said.
Alaska Airlines, which banned 14 passengers from flying the carrier during the pandemic after being rowdy and not wearing a mask on a flight from Washington, DC last week, and United Airlines joined Delta in temporarily banning guns on flights to the Baltimore / Washington International Airport, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Dulles International Airport. United Airlines also included flights to Richmond International Airport and noted that law enforcement officials and active duty military personnel traveling on order would be exempt.
Yet there were still problems.
Now the airlines are adopting a similar posture ahead of the inauguration.
In addition to banning guns, the Seattle-based Alaska said it also plans to reduce the number of tickets sold on flights to and from the DC metro area in order to support calls from the police to avoid going to the region. It will require that all passengers on flights to and from the DC Metro remain in their seats for one hour after take-off and during landing.
The airline said it has set up a command center to monitor operations from check-in to arrival.
United, which said it banned around 60 people the week of Jan. 4 for violating its mask policy, will move crew members to hotels outside of downtown DC and increase staff at airports around the world. region.
Southwest Airlines is giving flight attendants stronger language to use for inflight announcements to use as a “ last resort ” if passengers do not comply with Southwest’s mask policy or behave otherwise, according to a note sent to flight attendants Wednesday and obtained by USA TODAY.
Sonya Lacore, Southwest’s vice president of flight operations, attributed the change to a recent increase in “customer misconduct events”, particularly last week.
“As the inauguration day approaches, we realize that we may see an increase in these events,” Lacore said in the memo.
The ad, which is optional, reads: Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to have your attention. First of all, thank you to those who fulfill your promise to follow our face protection policy. You pledged compliance multiple times when purchasing your ticket, checking in for your flight, and completing your health declaration before traveling today. Wearing a mask is not only to protect your safety and the safety of everyone on this flight, but it is also the personal integrity that is required to keep a promise. For those who still chose not to comply, please allow this announcement to serve as a final request. Future non-compliance or failure to follow instructions from crew members will result in law enforcement personnel or aircraft southwest personnel meeting to take further action. Thank you.
In addition to the announcement, Lacore said Southwest had “multiple efforts” underway to increase security, particularly at airport gates and when a flight lands.
American Airlines said Wednesday night it would tighten security at the airport and on planes.
The airline will also not serve alcohol on flights to and from Washington area airports from Jan.16 to Jan.21. Due to the pandemic, the airline only serves drinks in the first class section.
The airline is also moving flight crews from their usual locations in downtown hotels to those closer to airports and will provide private transportation between airports and hotels until January 24 instead of letting employees use the airports. hotel shuttles.
US spokesman Curtis Blessing said the airline is also revising pre-flight announcements to include reminders about the airline’s face mask requirement and “the importance of following crewmembers’ instructions.” .
FAA becomes difficult: No more warnings for unruly passengers
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