Travelers boarding flights to Washington, D.C., forward of the inauguration is not going to be allowed to test firearms on a number of airways and face elevated safety measures on all carriers.
Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian stated early Thursday that the airline will ban passengers touring to Washington, D.C. and by the tip of the day, American, United, Alaska, Southwest, Frontier and Spirit stated they may also ban firearms.
“We’re all on high alert based on the events over the last couple of weeks up in Washington,” Bastian said in an interview on CNBC.
Only law enforcement officials will be exempt from the ban.
Bastian said the airline will also add other security measures at the airports and on planes – seen and unseen – in the coming days “as we glance to the week forward.”
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Asked whether or not he was anxious about passenger habits in gentle of in-flight incidents this 12 months, he stated 99.99% of Delta’s passengers “are actually nice and doing a very good job.”
“I do not need to overreact,” he stated. “I think this is a moment hopefully in time with the outcry around the election results.”
Bastian said he was “happy” to see President Donald Trump’s name for calm and order late Wednesday.
“Hopefully that will help,” he said.
Temporary firearm ban
United Airlines, American Airlines, Southwest, Frontier, Spirit and Alaska Airlines – which last week banned 14 passengers from flying the carrier during the pandemic after they were rowdy and wouldn’t wear masks on a flight from Washington, D.C. – joined Delta in temporarily banning firearms on flights to Baltimore/Washington International Airport, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Dulles International Airport.
United Airlines also included flights to Richmond International Airport and noted law enforcement officials and active duty military traveling on orders would be exempt.
Yet there were still problems.
Now airlines are assuming a similar posture ahead of the inauguration.
In addition to banning firearms, Seattle-based Alaska said it also plans to reduce the number of tickets sold on flights to and from the D.C. metro area to support law enforcement calls to avoid travel to the area. It will require all passengers on flights to and from metro D.C. to remain in their seats for an hour after takeoff and during landing.
The airline stated it organising a command middle to monitor operations from check-in by way of arrival.
United, which said it banned about 60 people the week of Jan. 4 for not complying with its mask policy, will relocate crewmembers to hotels outside of downtown D.C. and increase staffing at area airports.
Southwest Airlines is giving flight attendants stronger language to use for in-flight announcements to use as a “final resort” if passengers aren’t complying with Southwest’s masks coverage or are in any other case misbehaving, in accordance to a memo despatched to flight attendants Wednesday and obtained by USA TODAY.
Sonya Lacore, Southwest’s vp of in-flight operations, attributed the change to a current enhance in “customer misconduct events,” especially in the past week.
“As we close to Inauguration Day, we understand that we may see a rise in these occurrences,” Lacore stated within the memo.
The announcement, which is non-compulsory, reads: “Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention. First, thank you to those fulfilling your promise to abide by our face covering policy. You promised compliance multiple times – when buying your ticket, checking in for your flight and completing your health declaration before traveling today. Wearing a mask is not only to protect the safety of yourself and everyone on this flight, but is also about the personal integrity it takes to fulfill a promise. For those who despite this have still chosen not to comply, please allow this announcement to serve as our final request. Future non-compliance for this or failure to follow any crewmember instructions will result in law enforcement or Southwest personnel meeting the aircraft to take further action. Thank you.”
In addition to the announcement, Lacore stated Southwest has “multiple efforts” underway to boost security, especially at airport gates and when a flight lands.
American Airlines said late Wednesday that it will increase security at the airport and on planes.
The airline also won’t serve alcohol on flights to and from Washington-area airports from Jan. 16 through Jan. 21. Because of the pandemic, the airline is serving drinks only in first class section.
The airline is also moving flight crews from their usual downtown hotel locations to those closer to airports and will provide private transportation between the airports and hotels through Jan. 24 instead of having employees use hotel shuttles.
American spokesman Curtis Blessing said the airline also is revising preflight announcements to include reminders on the airline’s face mask requirement and “the significance of following crew member directions.”
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