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Delta CEO Wants AG Garland and the DOJ to Place Anti-maskers on No-Fly List

Published: February 7, 2022
Anti-Maskers should be placed on a federally enforced no-fly list, Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastian told AG Merrick Garland and the DOJ in a letter.
Delta Airlines aircraft are seen on the tarmac of John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, on December 24, 2021. CEO Ed Bastian urged Attorney General Merrick Garland and his DOJ to have passengers convicted of disruptive conduct on flights, such as violating mask mandates, to be added to a national “no-fly” list. (Image: YUKI IWAMURA/AFP via Getty Images)

Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastian implored the DOJ to mobilize its power to ban rebellious commuters by creating a national no-fly list, eliciting concerns the criminalization of those non-compliant with pandemic restrictions will become the new normal.

“We are requesting you support our efforts with respect to the much-needed step of putting any person convicted of an on-board disruption on a national, comprehensive, unruly passenger ‘no-fly’ list that would bar that person from traveling on any commercial air carrier,” Bastian stated in a Feb. 3 letter addressed to Attorney General Merrick Garland.

“This action will help prevent future incidents and serve as a strong symbol of the consequences of not complying with crew member instructions on commercial aircraft,” Bastian stated. The letter appeared in a Feb. 5 report by The Epoch Times.

Zero tolerance

Prior to the pandemic, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) only bars flyers that are deemed to pose a terrorism threat to the aircraft, staff, or other passengers. But if Bastian’s proposal comes to pass, then both airlines and federal regulators would deploy a much broader—yet finer-mazed—web to label disobedient travelers, ban them from their flights, and levy law enforcement against them.

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Bastian reported to Garland that Delta placed “nearly 1,900 people on Delta’s ‘no-fly’ list for refusing to comply with masking requirements and submitting more than 900 banned names to the TSA to pursue civil penalties.”

Furthermore, the CEO declared that “any disruption or act of violence on our planes and at our airports warrants full and public prosecution of the offenders, with zero tolerance for any behavior that interferes with flight safety.” 

Delta boasted it had referred more than 36 obstinate voyagers to the FBI for possible criminal investigations.

Another creed Delta, along with its industry partners, are advocating for would be beefing up security measures at several airports “as a result of our ongoing partnerships with local law enforcement agencies across the country,” the letter stated.

Repeating history

Bastian’s letter appears to be an analog of an action the National School Boards Association (NSBA) took in September of 2021 when the organization wrote to AG Garland asking the federal government to begin regarding parents who speak out at school board meetings on the same level as domestic terrorists.

The Association asked Garland to deploy federal law enforcement and the PATRIOT Act because of alleged “attacks against school board members and educators for approving policies for masks” and “physical threats because of propaganda purporting the false inclusion of critical race theory within classroom instruction and curricula.”

In response, Garland issued a Memorandum directing state-level Attorneys General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to begin a joint, nationwide effort to “convene meetings with federal, state, local, Tribal, and territorial leaders in each federal judicial district.”

The meetings were to counter what the AG defined earlier in the issuance as a “disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against school administrators, board members, teachers, and staff who participate in the vital work of running our nation’s public schools.”

The NSBA was forced to walk back its actions after both receiving tremendous backlash from dozens of state-level school board associations and when FOIA requests revealed that the NSBA had actually colluded with the Biden administration’s White House to draft the letter as a public relations stunt to create a pretext for additional censorship.

Unpopular opinion

However, many Epoch Times readers had their doubts about Delta’s intentions to treat mask-defyers as terrorists, handing them over to TSA agents and—potentially a bailiff.

Many commenters interpreted the no-fly list as yet another step to ban the maskless from an impending Brave New World-like communist society. 

MOLG, a reader, stated:

“Corporate America has joined the Marxist Party to supress [sic] our rights the list Is [sic] endless.”

Another added,

“Great so now we have flight attendants policing us and deciding who is ‘unruly’ and who deserves to use public transportation. Never thought a police state would infect our Republic. Leave it to the Marxist Brandon administration to allow this tyranny to continue.”

A third, named roadkillbill, weighed in, stating:

“Unruly passengers, hmmmm? So a private company requests the ability to place private citizens, who may or may not have committed a crime, onto a Federal Watch List for people with ties to terrorist organizations. What could possibly go wrong here?”