(WPRI) — Sen. Jack Reed is among a group of lawmakers who reintroduced the Protection from Abusive Passengers Act Wednesday.
The legislation is designed to improve air travel safety by banning those who are fined or convicted of serious physical violence on commercial flights.
The reintroduction comes after a series of incidents on planes, including when a Massachusetts man allegedly tried to open an emergency exit door on a flight heading to Boston and then tried to stab an attendant with a metal spoon.
Flight attendants who are trained in de-escalation and safety techniques shared their experiences of being assaulted while on the job.
Despite the mask mandate on planes ending in April of last year, the Federal Aviation Administration investigated 831 unruly-passenger incidents in 2022, which is up from 146 just four years ago.
“People were acting out. We saw how many arrests there were made, over 7000 during that time period. But you know what? At the end of the day, most of those people were ultimately invited back to fly by the airlines if they promise to behave themselves. So, I doubt very seriously that this information will be shared with other airlines, which is too bad,” CBS News Travel Editor Peter Greenberg said.
The bill also provides TSA flexibility to determine how long the person is banned from flying based on the offense.