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Days After Federal Mask Mandate Lifted, In-Air Unruly Passenger Incidents Plunge

Days After Federal Mask Mandate Lifted, In-Air Unruly Passenger Incidents Plunge It's amazing what happens when you stop forcing people to wear masks.  After several years where in-air confrontations and unruly passengers became the norm for air travel, with most disputes arising over people wearing or not wearing masks, incidents have started to level off now that masks are no longer required.  It's almost as if people don't like being micromanaged... The unruly passenger rate has fallen for the second week in a row, Bloomberg noted this morning, following the April 18 decision by a judge to end mask mandates on U.S. airlines and mass transportation.  The FAA reported 2.1 unruly incidents per 10,000 flights in week ending May 1, Bloomberg reported. This is the lowest rate since cases started surging in early 2021 with, again, a "majority" of those cases related to the federal mask mandate. There have been 1,344 cases registered as of May 10, below last year’s record of 5,981 cases. Remember back in February we noted that unruly incidents had hit 27 year highs. At the time Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastian had officially asked the Biden DOJ to help deter aggressive behavior on flights, telling AG Merrick Garland that a no-fly list "will help prevent future incidents and serve as a strong symbol of the consequences of not complying with crew member instructions on commercial aircraft." We noted that last year, 72% of the 5,981 reports of pandemic-era passenger incidents were related to masks according to the FAA, which launched investigations into more than 1,105 more serious incidents in 2021 - over 3x the previous high since the agency began collecting data in 1995. According to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, a unified no-fly list was being considered at the time. Tyler Durden Fri, 05/13/2022 - 18:00.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytMay 13th, 2022

Unruly air passenger incidents fall after mask mandate lifted

The rate of unruly passenger incidents on airplanes fell to the lowest level since 2020 a week after a federal judge ended a government mask mandate for public transportation, the Federal Aviation Administration said Wednesday......»»

Category: topSource: foxnewsMay 6th, 2022

Some flight attendants are quietly relieved the mask mandate has ended amid a surge in unruly passenger violence: "I"m just happy I can go back to focusing on my other safety-related duties"

The mask mandate contributed to a record number of unruly passenger incidents last year, including verbal and physical assaults of flight attendants. Airline employees with and without face masks work at Miami International Airport after a ruling by federal judge ended mask mandates on public transportation.CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images Three flight attendants told Insider they're relieved major airlines have ended the mask mandate.  Last year saw a record number of unruly passenger incidents, thousands related to masks.  "I'm just happy I can go back to focusing on my other safety-related duties," one flight attendant said.  Some flight attendants are quietly relieved that their airlines have ended the mask mandate on planes, as it means workers are no longer required to enforce masks among passengers who have grown increasingly hostile. "Our most difficult interactions with passengers — basically ever —  have happened over the last couple of years," Rich, a flight attendant of nine years and founder of the Instagram page @twoguysonaplane, told Insider. He requested his last name not be included to protect his career, but Insider verified his identity and employment."The mask mandate has taken the fun out of our job," he added. Almost 6,000 unruly passenger incidents were reported to the Federal Aviation Administration last year — 4,290 of them related to face masks. Between 2006 and 2020, the agency investigated less than 200 total reports on a yearly basis, compared to the 1,113 investigations initiated in 2021. The concerning spike in passenger disruptions prompted lawmakers to introduce a bill that would create a "no-fly" list for unruly passengers."We've dealt with so many passengers who saw the mask mandate as an excuse to become violent verbally towards us," a flight attendant of seven years for a major US airline told Insider. He spoke on condition of anonymity to protect his career, but Insider verified their identity and employment. The flight attendant said he's dealt with unruly passengers "too many times to count," and has been called a "Nazi" for asking passengers to wear their masks correctly."Personally, I'm just happy I can go back to focusing on my other safety related duties," he added. Rich said his Wednesday flight felt less tense with masks being optional, and estimated that half of travelers voluntarily wore a face covering. He has personally chosen to continue masking at work, and said he hasn't gotten COVID or a cold while wearing one in the last year.Lyn Montgomery, a flight attendant of 30 years and president of TWU Local 556, the union of Southwest Airlines flight attendants, told Insider that the majority of members said they preferred the mask mandate to be lifted in union surveys.However, Rich said the flight attendants he knows are divided in their opinions about the mandate being lifted, and said some feel more comfortable flying if all passengers are fully masked. "As flight attendants, we rely on being healthy to be able to do our jobs," he said. According to Montgomery, the mandate's end is "a good step toward normalcy for flight attendants." "The mask mandate has been one of the biggest changes that they've seen in their working environments since September 11," she said. "It has been very difficult, creating a lot of unruly passenger behavior, a lot of microaggressions a lot of division. Now that it's a choice we hope that that is going to help take away some of that tension and stress."A rapid change — announced while some flights were airborneThe change in airlines' policies happened quickly, and was unexpected for many.On Monday, the TSA announced it would no longer enforce a federal mask requirement on public transportation.Major airlines adjusted their company guidelines the same day — a change that, in some cases, went into effect while flights were airborne, with pilots making the announcement.Airline passengers, some not wearing face masks following the end of Covid-19 public transportation rules, sit during a American Airlines flight operated by SkyWest Airlines from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in California to Denver, Colorado on April 19, 2022.Getty Images/PATRICK T. FALLONThe shift followed the ruling of a federal judge in Florida earlier that day, who argued the mandate was unlawful and "exceeded the CDC's statutory authority."Rich, one of the flight attendants interviewed by Insider, also said Monday's news caught him and his colleagues off guard. The federal transportation mandate was originally set to expire on April 18, until the CDC announced last Wednesday that it would be extended until May 3. The CDC extension, combined with the sudden court ruling in Florida, led to a chaotic turn of events, Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, told Insider in a statement."Yesterday's mid-flight announcements on the lifting of mask mandates created confusion and uncertainty in our cabins," Nelson said in a statement. "During this pandemic flight attendants have dealt with constant disruptions in our workplaces, including harassment and violence at a level we had never seen before.""Changing the rules on people when they have no choice to opt out is a recipe for conflict and distrust," she added. "As we move forward, we urge the government, all airlines and airports to work urgently on consistent, clear messaging on the new policy." Risk for airline staff remainsWith the mask mandate lifted, the looming question is the potential impact it could have on the health of airline workers, even as the frequency of unruly passenger violence seems likely to decrease. One possible indicator of the policy change's potential impact on US airlines is the industry's European counterparts. EasyJet, a European budget airline, dropped its mask requirement on March 27. Within the next week, EasyJet canceled hundreds of flights, citing "higher than usual staff sickness levels," CBS reported.British Airways, which lifted its mask mandate on March 16, canceled 393 flights between March 28 and April 3, according to data provided to CBS. However, a BA spokesperson said only a small number of canceled flights were COVID-related.The mass cancellations came amid a COVID surge in England. Public health experts recently told Insider that they recommend to continue wearing masks on planes as the BA.2 Omicron variant spreads throughout the US. Meanwhile, airlines are struggling to hire and retain enough staff to handle the pent up demand that's recently been unleashed on the travel industry as pandemic restrictions are scaled back. Are you a flight attendant or airline pilot? Contact the reporter from a non-work email at htowey@insider.comRead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderApr 20th, 2022

8 airlines around the world no longer require passengers to wear masks on aircraft — see the full list

While the US is still holding onto its federal mask mandate until at least May 3, many European airlines have dropped the policy on some routes. British Airways and EasyJet.Victor Jiang/Shutterstock Mask requirements on planes became a commonality across the globe after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. With COVID cases on the decline, some European airlines have dropped the mask mandate on certain routes. Masks are still mandatory on US airlines and planes headed to and from the US until at least May 3. Shortly after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, mask-wearing became the new reality for most people across the globe. For nearly two years, most everyday activities, like dining out and grocery shopping, required masks, even for those that are fully vaccinated.However, the past few months have shown a decline in COVID cases, and many places around the world are dropping the mask mandate altogether. Despite the relaxed policies, many countries, like France and Germany, still require face coverings to be worn on public transportation, including on aircraft and in airports, according to data provider World Population Reviews.Because of the mandate, airlines have had to comply with and enforce mask rules. While a lot of people embraced the new norm, many did not take it in stride, leading to a stark uptick in unruly passenger cases, particularly in the US.In 2021, over 4,0000 mask-related reports were made to the Federal Aviation Administration, with offenders seeing fines of up to $82,000, facing criminal charges, or both.The mask mandate on public transportation was implemented in January 2021 by President Joe Biden and the policy was set to expire on March 18 but was extended to April 18, frustrating travelers and surprising some analysts.Henry Harteveldt, travel analyst and president of Atmosphere Research Group, told Insider in March that he is concerned about the "uneven set of policies" that makes "airlines and airports look like the bad guys.""It also puts workers in an uncomfortable position because the second you step out of that airport terminal, you are probably going to be in a community where mask-wearing is no longer required," he said.As COVID continues to recede and countries end mask requirements, some executives are calling on the Biden Administration to end the federal mandate in the US."It makes no sense that people are still required to wear masks on airplanes, yet are allowed to congregate in crowded restaurants, schools, and at sporting events without masks, despite none of these venues having the protective air filtration system that aircraft do," executives from the US' largest carriers said in a March 23 letter to Biden.However, on Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended the mandate until May 3, reported CNN."Since early April, there have been increases in the 7-day moving average of cases in the US," a Biden Administration official told CNN. "In order to assess the potential impact, the rise of cases has on severe disease, including hospitalizations and deaths, and health care system capacity, CDC is recommending that TSA extend the security directive to enforce mask use on public transportation and transportation hubs for 15 days, through May 3, 2022."While the mandate remains in effect on aircraft in the US, there are several airlines in Europe that have dropped mask-wearing on many routes. However, some of the British carriers have been facing staffing shortages as a result of the dropped mask mandate, forcing them to cancel hundreds of flights.According to data provided from Cirium to CBS MoneyWatch, EasyJet canceled 202 flights departing the UK between March 28 and April 3, compared to zero canceled during the same period in 2019. Meanwhile, BA canceled 393.An EasyJet spokesperson told CBS that "higher than usual staff sickness levels" contributed to the increase in cancellations. However, a BA spokesperson said only a small number of canceled flights were COVID-related."There is risk we may see some of that in North America and it's all dependent on case rates," Rob Morris, head of airline analytics company Ascend by Cirium, said. "But it will be relatively short-term because airlines will adjust their capacity to manage demand and protect their network integrity."Here are the airlines that no longer require masks on aircraft.British AirwaysSEREE YINDEE/ShutterstockFollowing the removal of the mask mandate in England and Wales, British Airways updated its mask policy to be optional on flights where the destination does not require them. However, the airline still requires face coverings for places where the company has not been able to "clarify the local restrictions."EasyJetSimone Previdi/ShutterstockSimilar to BA, London-based EasyJet has ended the mask requirement on flights where the origin and destination do not require them. Specifically, people on flights between England, Northern Ireland, Jersey, Isle of Man, Denmark, Sweden, Gibraltar, Switzerland, Hungary, Iceland, and Poland can ditch face coverings onboard.Jet2A Jet2 Boeing 737 landing at Newcastle Airport.Robert Smith/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty ImagesBritish low-cost carrier Jet2 was the first airline in the UK to scrap mask requirements on planes, relaxing the rule on March 1. The carrier says masks are still required on flights to and from Scotland, as well as overseas countries that still require them.TUIBradley Caslin/ShutterstockCharter airline TUI says masks can be dropped for those traveling to or from England, Wales, or Northern Ireland, but flights to and from Scotland and some overseas countries, like the US, still require face coverings.IcelandairAn Icelandair Boeing 757.IanC66/Shutterstock.comIcelandair has also updated its mask policy to be optional on some routes, including flights within Iceland, and to or from Europe and Greenland. However, masks are still required on service to Canada, the US, Germany (except Frankfurt), and Paris.Virgin AtlanticVirgin Atlantic.EQRoy/ShutterstockAs of March 16, Virgin Atlantic has changed its mask rules to be optional on flights from Heathrow and Manchester to the Caribbean. Specifically, face coverings can be removed on flights to or from Barbados, St Lucia, Antigua, Grenada, The Bahamas, Jamaica, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad & Tobago.Scandinavian AirlinesTouring SAS Scandinavian Airlines' Airbus A350-900 XWB.Thomas Pallini/InsiderScandinavian Airlines, also known as SAS, removed the mask mandate for flights in Sweden, Denmark, and Norway in October, but has expanded that to all flights except to and from the US, China, and Italy as of April 4.Norwegian Air ShuttleNorwegian Air ShuttleNorwegian Air ShuttleNorwegian Air Shuttle changed its covid-era mask policy on April 4, now allowing passengers to forgo face coverings on all of its flights. However, masks may still be required on routes to certain destinations. The company said that as of February 12 when the mandate was lifted in Scandinavia, it has "noticed increased passenger demand and optimism in regards to booking ahead for both leisure and business travel."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytApr 14th, 2022

6 airlines around the world no longer require passengers to wear masks on aircraft — see the full list

While the US is still holding onto its federal mask mandate until at least May 3, many European airlines have dropped the policy on some routes. British Airways and EasyJet.Victor Jiang/Shutterstock Mask requirements on planes became a commonality across the globe after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. With COVID cases on the decline, some European airlines have dropped the mask mandate on some routes. Masks are still mandatory on US airlines and planes headed to and from the US until at least May 3. Shortly after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, mask-wearing became the new reality for most people across the globe. For nearly two years, most everyday activities, like dining out and grocery shopping, required masks, even for those that are fully vaccinated.However, the past few months have shown a decline in COVID cases, and many places around the world are dropping the mask mandate altogether. Despite the relaxed policies, many countries, like France and Germany, still require face coverings to be worn on public transportation, including on aircraft and in airports, according to data provider World Population Reviews.Because of the mandate, airlines have had to comply with and enforce mask rules. While a lot of people embraced the new norm, many did not take it in stride, leading to a stark uptick in unruly passenger cases, particularly in the US.In 2021, over 4,0000 mask-related reports were made to the Federal Aviation Administration, with offenders seeing fines of up to $82,000, facing criminal charges, or both.The mask mandate on public transportation was implemented in January 2021 by President Joe Biden and the policy was set to expire on March 18 but was extended to April 18, frustrating travelers and surprising some analysts.Henry Harteveldt, travel analyst and president of Atmosphere Research Group, told Insider in March that he is concerned about the "uneven set of policies" that makes "airlines and airports look like the bad guys.""It also puts workers in an uncomfortable position because the second you step out of that airport terminal, you are probably going to be in a community where mask-wearing is no longer required," he said.As COVID continues to recede and countries end mask requirements, some executives are calling on the Biden Administration to end the federal mandate in the US come April 18."It makes no sense that people are still required to wear masks on airplanes, yet are allowed to congregate in crowded restaurants, schools, and at sporting events without masks, despite none of these venues having the protective air filtration system that aircraft do," executives from the US' largest carriers said in a March 23 letter to Biden.However, on Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended the mandate until May 3, reported CNN."Since early April, there have been increases in the 7-day moving average of cases in the US," a Biden Administration official told CNN. "In order to assess the potential impact, the rise of cases has on severe disease, including hospitalizations and deaths, and health care system capacity, CDC is recommending that TSA extend the security directive to enforce mask use on public transportation and transportation hubs for 15 days, through May 3, 2022."While the mandate remains in effect on aircraft in the US, there are several airlines in Europe that have dropped mask-wearing on many routes. However, some of the British carriers have been facing staffing shortages as a result of the dropped mask mandate, forcing them to cancel hundreds of flights.According to data provided from Cirium to CBS MoneyWatch, EasyJet canceled 202 flights departing the UK between March 28 and April 3, compared to zero canceled during the same period in 2019. Meanwhile, BA canceled 393.An EasyJet spokesperson told CBS that "higher than usual staff sickness levels" contributed to the increase in cancellations. However, a BA spokesperson said only a small number of canceled flights were COVID-related."There is risk we may see some of that in North America and it's all dependent on case rates," Rob Morris, head of airline analytics company Ascend by Cirium, said. "But it will be relatively short-term because airlines will adjust their capacity to manage demand and protect their network integrity."Here are the airlines that no longer require masks on aircraft.British AirwaysSEREE YINDEE/ShutterstockFollowing the removal of the mask mandate in England and Wales, British Airways updated its mask policy to be optional on flights where the destination does not require them. However, the airline still requires face coverings for places where the company has not been able to "clarify the local restrictions."EasyJetSimone Previdi/ShutterstockSimilar to BA, London-based EasyJet has ended the mask requirement on flights where the origin and destination do not require them. Specifically, people on flights between England, Northern Ireland, Jersey, Isle of Man, Denmark, Sweden, Gibraltar, Switzerland, Hungary, Iceland, and Poland can ditch face coverings onboard.Jet2A Jet2 Boeing 737 landing at Newcastle Airport.Robert Smith/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty ImagesBritish low-cost carrier Jet2 was the first airline in the UK to scrap mask requirements on planes, relaxing the rule on March 1. The carrier says masks are still required on flights to and from Scotland, as well as overseas countries that still require them.TUIBradley Caslin/ShutterstockCharter airline TUI says masks can be dropped for those traveling to or from England, Wales, or Northern Ireland, but flights to and from Scotland and some overseas countries, like the US, still require face coverings.IcelandairAn Icelandair Boeing 757.IanC66/Shutterstock.comIcelandair has also updated its mask policy to be optional on some routes, including flights within Iceland, and to or from Europe and Greenland. However, masks are still required on service to Canada, the US, Germany (except Frankfurt), and Paris.Virgin AtlanticVirgin Atlantic.EQRoy/ShutterstockAs of March 16, Virgin Atlantic has changed its mask rules to be optional on flights from Heathrow and Manchester to the Caribbean. Specifically, face coverings can be removed on flights to or from Barbados, St Lucia, Antigua, Grenada, The Bahamas, Jamaica, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad & Tobago.Scandinavian AirlinesTouring SAS Scandinavian Airlines' Airbus A350-900 XWB.Thomas Pallini/InsiderScandinavian Airlines, also known as SAS, removed the mask mandate for flights in Sweden, Denmark, and Norway in October, but has expanded that to all flights except to and from the US, China, and Italy as of April 4.Norwegian Air ShuttleNorwegian Air ShuttleNorwegian Air ShuttleNorwegian Air Shuttle changed its covid-era mask policy on April 4, now allowing passengers to forgo face coverings on all of its flights. However, masks may still be required on routes to certain destinations. The company said that as of February 12 when the mandate was lifted in Scandinavia, it has "noticed increased passenger demand and optimism in regards to booking ahead for both leisure and business travel."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytApr 14th, 2022

10 JetBlue, American Airlines, and Southwest pilots are suing the CDC over the federal mask mandate, saying it encourages unruly behavior and "impairs pilots" health"

A small group of pilots working for major US airlines have launched legal action to try to end the requirement for masks to be worn on planes. Ten pilots working at JetBlue, American Airlines, and Southwest are suing the CDC over the federal mask mandate.Getty Images Pilots at major US airlines, including JetBlue and American, are suing the CDC over mask rules. The suit claims the federal mask mandate poses a risk to pilot health, "imperiling aviation safety." The claimants also allege the mask mandate is a root cause of unruly-passenger "chaos" in the sky. A small group of pilots who work for major US airlines are suing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over the recently extended federal transportation mask mandate.The 10 pilots work for commercial airlines including JetBlue, American Airlines, and Southwest Airlines, according to the lawsuit.In the filing, the pilots alleged that the CDC acted "without providing public notice or soliciting comment."The mask mandate applies to public transportation, including commercial aircraft. On March 10 it was extended for 30 days, according to the Transportation Security Administration. The rule is set to remain in effect through at least April 18."This revised framework will be based on the COVID-19 community levels, risk of new variants, national data, and the latest science," the TSA said in a statement.The pilots say in the suit they have "serious concerns about the safety implications" of the mask mandate in relation to unruly-passenger incidents caused by mask policies.The lawsuit says: "As pilots for major airlines, we have seen up close and personal the chaos in the sky created by the FTMM (Federal Transportation Mask Mandate), with thousands of reports to the Federal Aviation Administration of 'unruly' passenger behavior since the FTMM took effect Feb. 1, 2021."The pilots described 2021 as the "worst year on record for buffoonish behavior on planes" and blamed nearly all of the "chaos" on mask requirements.The FAA has said 4,290 mask-related incidents were reported in 2021, accounting for more than 75% of the agency's unruly-passenger reports. Since January of last year, the agency proposed fines of more than $682,000 against unruly passengers.The suit also claims the CDC ignores that the mask mandate "impairs pilots' health" and subsequently imperils aviation safety."Wearing a mask before and during flight causes us numerous medical deficiencies," the suit claimed. "Extended wearing of a mask, which has become a part of routine life, has led to the emergence of 'mask fatigue.' Mask fatigue is defined as the lack of energy that accompanies, and/or follows prolonged wearing of a mask."The suit makes a further claim that the federal policy "ignored countless scientific and medical studies and articles showing that face masks are totally ineffective in reducing coronavirus spread but are harmful to human health in at least 68 ways."As evidence for the claim, the pilots cite an article authored by Lucas Wall, a longtime opponent to the federal mask mandate, who has filed several lawsuits against the CDC and airlines over the matter.Scientists and public-health officials overwhelmingly agree that masks help stop the spread of the coronavirus and have saved lives.The pilots say they were morally and legally obligated to act on the mandate. They requested the court vacate the mask requirement, remove all signs informing passengers of the requirement to wear a mask from all airports, transportation hubs, and other locations worldwide, as well as compensate all legal costs and fees.JetBlue, American Airlines, and Southwest did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Insider outside normal working hours.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMar 21st, 2022

JetBlue, American Airlines, and Southwest pilots are suing the CDC over the federal mask mandate, saying it ignores scientific studies showing it is "ineffective"

A group of 10 pilots working for major US airlines have launched legal action to try and end the requirement for masks to be worn on planes. 10 pilots working at JetBlue, American Airlines and Southwest are suing the CDC over the federal mask mandate.Getty Images Pilots at major US airlines, including JetBlue and American, are suing the CDC over mask rules.  The suit claims the federal mask mandate ignores scientific studies showing it is "ineffective."  Claimants also alleged it posed a risk to the health of pilots, "imperiling aviation safety."  A group of pilots who work for major US airlines is suing the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) over the federal transportation mask mandate. The 10 pilots work for commercial airlines including JetBlue, American Airlines, and Southwest Airlines, according to the lawsuit. In the filing, the pilots alleged that the CDC acted "without providing public notice or soliciting comment." The mask mandate applies to public transportation, including commercial aircraft. It was extended on March 10 for 30 days, according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The rule will stay in effect through April 18, at the earliest. "This revised framework will be based on the COVID-19 community levels, risk of new variants, national data, and the latest science," the TSA said in a statement. The pilots have alleged that the federal policy "ignored countless scientific and medical studies and articles showing that face masks are totally ineffective in reducing coronavirus spread but are harmful to human health in at least 68 ways." They further alleged that they had "serious concerns about the safety implications" of the mask mandate in relation to unruly passenger behavior incidents caused by mask policies. The lawsuit stated: "As pilots for major airlines, we have seen up close and personal the chaos in the sky created by the FTMM (Federal Transportation Mask Mandate), with thousands of reports to the Federal Aviation Administration of 'unruly' passenger behavior since the FTMM took effect Feb. 1, 2021."The pilots alleged that nearly all of the "chaos" related to masks and that 2021 was the "worst year on record for buffoonish behavior on planes."According to the FAA, there were 4,290 mask-related incidents reported in 2021. And more than 75% of the FAA's unruly incidents in 2021 arose from people vehemently refusing to wear masks. Since January last year, the agency proposed fines of more than $682,000 against unruly passengers. The suit also claims the CDC ignores that the mask mandate "impairs pilots' health" and subsequently imperils aviation safety."Wearing a mask before and during flight causes us numerous medical deficiencies," the suit alleged. "Extended wearing of a mask, which has become a part of routine life, has led to the emergence of 'mask fatigue.' Mask fatigue is defined as the lack of energy that accompanies, and/or follows prolonged wearing of a mask."The pilots claimed that, as a result, they were morally and legally obligated to act.They requested that the court vacate the mask requirement, remove all signs informing passengers of the requirement to wear a mask from all airports, transportation hubs, and other locations worldwide, as well as compensate all legal costs and fees. JetBlue, American Airlines, and Southwest did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment made outside of normal working hours.     Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMar 20th, 2022

Days After Federal Mask Mandate Lifted, In-Air Unruly Passenger Incidents Plunge

Days After Federal Mask Mandate Lifted, In-Air Unruly Passenger Incidents Plunge It's amazing what happens when you stop forcing people to wear masks.  After several years where in-air confrontations and unruly passengers became the norm for air travel, with most disputes arising over people wearing or not wearing masks, incidents have started to level off now that masks are no longer required.  It's almost as if people don't like being micromanaged... The unruly passenger rate has fallen for the second week in a row, Bloomberg noted this morning, following the April 18 decision by a judge to end mask mandates on U.S. airlines and mass transportation.  The FAA reported 2.1 unruly incidents per 10,000 flights in week ending May 1, Bloomberg reported. This is the lowest rate since cases started surging in early 2021 with, again, a "majority" of those cases related to the federal mask mandate. There have been 1,344 cases registered as of May 10, below last year’s record of 5,981 cases. Remember back in February we noted that unruly incidents had hit 27 year highs. At the time Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastian had officially asked the Biden DOJ to help deter aggressive behavior on flights, telling AG Merrick Garland that a no-fly list "will help prevent future incidents and serve as a strong symbol of the consequences of not complying with crew member instructions on commercial aircraft." We noted that last year, 72% of the 5,981 reports of pandemic-era passenger incidents were related to masks according to the FAA, which launched investigations into more than 1,105 more serious incidents in 2021 - over 3x the previous high since the agency began collecting data in 1995. According to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, a unified no-fly list was being considered at the time. Tyler Durden Fri, 05/13/2022 - 18:00.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytMay 13th, 2022

United says it will allow passengers banned for mask-related incidents to fly again on a "case-by-case basis"

United banned 1,000 people from flying on its aircraft due to mask-related incidents during the pandemic but said it will allow some to fly again. Matheus Obst/Shutterstock United Airlines will allow some of the 1,000 previously banned passengers to fly on its planes again. The passengers were forbidden from flying the carrier due to mask-related unruly behavior. The move comes after a federal judge in Florida struck down the Biden Administrations' mask mandate. United confirmed to Insider on Wednesday that it will start allowing passengers who were previously banned for mask-related incidents back onto its planes.The Federal Aviation Administration received about 4,300 mask-related reports from airlines in 2021, with nearly 800 reported so far in 2022.The federal mask mandate was set to expire on March 18, but the US Transportation Security Administration extended it to April 18, and then again to May 3. However, a federal judge in Florida struck down the policy on Monday, forcing the TSA to stop enforcing the rule. The agency noted that the CDC still "recommends that people continue to wear masks in indoor public transportation settings."Now that the mandate is thrown out, US carriers have been updating their policies to make face coverings optional, with United going as far as to welcome some passengers banned during the pandemic back on board."On a case-by-case basis, we will allow some customers who were previously banned for failing to comply with mask-related rules to fly United again," the airline told Insider.United did not specify the criteria to be taken off its internal "no-fly" list other than "ensuring their commitment to follow all crewmember instructions" when on its aircraft. According to the company, it forbid 1,000 people from flying during the span of the mask requirement.Airlines and crew members are happy that the mandate is lifted, with many flight attendants silently rejoicing the TSA's decision."We've dealt with so many passengers who saw the mask mandate as an excuse to become violent verbally towards us," a flight attendant of seven years for a major US airline told Insider. "Personally, I'm just happy I can go back to focusing on my other safety-related duties."The crew member spoke on condition of anonymity to protect his career, but Insider verified his identity and employment. While airline workers are moving forward, the FAA said it will maintain its "zero-tolerance" policy for unruly behavior on planes, which imposes hefty fines and potential criminal prosecution for such disruptions, CNBC reported. Before the pandemic, the agency would issue warnings or counseling in lieu of harsher punishments.Since January 2021, 80 cases have been referred to the Justice Department, according to the FAA, and fines up to $82,000 have been sent to passengers."Behaving dangerously on a plane will cost you; that's a promise," acting FAA Administrator Bill Nolen told CNBC. "Unsafe behavior simply does not fly and keeping our Zero Tolerance policy will help us continue making progress to prevent and punish this behavior." Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderApr 20th, 2022

Delta, United, Southwest, and 18 other airlines no longer require passengers to wear masks on planes — see the full list

Most US airlines now no longer require passengers to wear masks after a federal judge struck down the mandate. Philip Pilosian/Shutterstock Mask requirements on planes became a commonality across the globe after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. On Monday, a Florida federal judge struck down Biden's mask rule, and most US carriers have now made them optional. With COVID cases on the decline, some European airlines have also dropped the mandate on certain routes. Shortly after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, mask-wearing became the new reality for most people across the globe. For nearly two years, most everyday activities, like dining out and grocery shopping, required masks, even for those that are fully vaccinated.However, the past few months have shown a decline in COVID cases, and many places around the world are dropping the mask mandate altogether. Despite the relaxed policies, many countries, like France and Germany, still require face coverings to be worn on public transportation, including on aircraft and in airports, according to data provider World Population Reviews.Because of the mandate, airlines have had to comply with and enforce mask rules. While a lot of people embraced the new norm, many did not take it in stride, leading to a stark uptick in unruly passenger cases, particularly in the US.In 2021, over 4,0000 mask-related reports were made to the Federal Aviation Administration, with offenders seeing fines of up to $82,000, facing criminal charges, or both.The mask mandate on public transportation was implemented in January 2021 by President Joe Biden and the policy was set to expire on March 18 but was extended to April 18, and then again to May 3, frustrating travelers and surprising some analysts.Henry Harteveldt, travel analyst and president of Atmosphere Research Group, told Insider in March that he is concerned about the "uneven set of policies" that makes "airlines and airports look like the bad guys."As COVID continued to recede and countries ended mask requirements over the previous months, some executives called on the Biden Administration to end the federal mandate in the US."It makes no sense that people are still required to wear masks on airplanes, yet are allowed to congregate in crowded restaurants, schools, and at sporting events without masks, despite none of these venues having the protective air filtration system that aircraft do," executives from the US' largest carriers said in a March 23 letter to Biden.However, on Monday, a Florida federal judge struck down the Administration's mandate. Soon after, the TSA said it would no longer enforce mask-wearing on planes or other public transportation but noted the "CDC recommends that people continue to wear masks in indoor public transportation settings." With the mandate now expired, several US airlines are joining a handful of European carriers by dropping the rule on aircraft. However, some British carriers have been facing staffing shortages as a result of the nixed mask policy, forcing them to cancel hundreds of flights.According to data provided from Cirium to CBS MoneyWatch, EasyJet canceled 202 flights departing the UK between March 28 and April 3, compared to zero canceled during the same period in 2019. Meanwhile, BA canceled 393.An EasyJet spokesperson told CBS that "higher than usual staff sickness levels" contributed to the increase in cancellations. However, a BA spokesperson said only a small number of canceled flights were COVID-related."There is risk we may see some of that in North America and it's all dependent on case rates," Rob Morris, head of airline analytics company Ascend by Cirium, said. "But it will be relatively short-term because airlines will adjust their capacity to manage demand and protect their network integrity."Here are the US and European airlines that no longer require masks on aircraft.United AirlinesUnited 737 MAX 9.Philip Pilosian/ShutterstockUnited said in an April 18 email to Insider that "masks are no longer required at United on domestic flights, select international flights (dependent upon the arrival country's mask requirements) or at US airports."Delta Air LinesDelta Air Lines aircraft.On The Run Photo/ShutterstockDelta updated its mask policy on April 18 saying "masks are optional for all airport employees, crew members, and customers inside US airports and onboard all aircraft domestically, as well as on most international flights."American AirlinesAmerican CRJ700.Markus Mainka/ShutterstockAmerican also dropped the rule on Monday, saying passengers and staff will no longer be required to wear masks at the airline's airport or on domestic flights."Please note face masks may still be required based on local ordinances, or when traveling to/from certain international locations based on country requirements," the airline said.Alaska AirlinesAlaska Airlines.Alaska AirlinesAlaska is also making masks optional, but said those banned earlier for mask-related events would continue to be prohibited from flying on the carrier, CNN reported.Southwest AirlinesAshlee D. Smith/Southwest AirlinesSouthwest announced on its website that masks are optional for employees and passengers, saying "we encourage individuals to make the best decision to support their personal wellbeing." However, the carrier said the policy is dropped for "some international locations."JetBlue AirwaysJetBlue A320 aircraft.Marcus Mainka/ShutterstockJetBlue tweeted on Monday that masks are no longer required on board, but said "while no longer required, customers and crewmembers may continue wearing masks in our terminals and onboard our aircraft."Frontier AirlinesFrontier AirlinesCarlos YudicaFrontier said that it was dropping the policy following the TSA's announcement, but reminded passengers that "individual airports and municipalities may still require masks so customers and team members should continue to abide by mask rules within any facility that may require it."Spirit AirlinesSpirit Airlines aircraftThiago B Trevisan/ShutterstockMasks are now optional on Spirit. "We understand some guests may want to continue wearing face coverings on flights, and that's perfectly fine under our optional policy," the airline said in a statement, USA Today reported. "For our guests traveling internationally, please remember to check country-specific airport requirements before traveling."Hawaiian AirlinesHawaiian Airlines Airbus A330 aircraftRyan Fletcher/ShutterstockHawaiian tweeted its new policy, making masks optional, but noted there are some origin or arrival airports that still require masks.Sun Country AirlinesTupungato/ShutterstockSun Country tweeted on Monday that passengers and staff can wear masks if they choose. "We look forward to seeing your smiles on board & encourage kindness & respect for those who continue to mask," it said.Avelo AirlinesAvelo Airlines 737-700 at Tweed-New Haven Airport.Avelo AirlinesIn a tweet, Avelo said masks are no longer required on board. "If you'd feel more comfortable still wearing yours ... go right ahead," the carrier said.Breeze AirwaysBreeze Airways A220-300 aircraft.Breeze Airways/Business WireBreeze said on its website that masks are now optional on its flights. "Please be kind and respectful of individual choices, and remember that wearing a mask while flying on Breeze is still an option if you choose to do so," the company noted.British AirwaysSEREE YINDEE/ShutterstockFollowing the removal of the mask mandate in England and Wales, British Airways updated its mask policy to be optional on flights where the destination does not require them. However, the airline still requires face coverings for places where the company has not been able to "clarify the local restrictions."EasyJetSimone Previdi/ShutterstockSimilar to BA, London-based EasyJet has ended the mask requirement on flights where the origin and destination do not require them. Specifically, people on flights between England, Northern Ireland, Jersey, Isle of Man, Denmark, Sweden, Gibraltar, Switzerland, Hungary, Iceland, and Poland can ditch face coverings onboard.Jet2A Jet2 Boeing 737 landing at Newcastle Airport.Robert Smith/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty ImagesBritish low-cost carrier Jet2 was the first airline in the UK to scrap mask requirements on planes, relaxing the rule on March 1. The carrier says masks are still required on flights to and from Scotland, as well as overseas countries that still require them.TUIBradley Caslin/ShutterstockCharter airline TUI says masks can be dropped for those traveling to or from England, Wales, or Northern Ireland, but flights to and from Scotland and some overseas countries, like the US, still require face coverings.IcelandairAn Icelandair Boeing 757.IanC66/Shutterstock.comIcelandair has also updated its mask policy to be optional on some routes, including flights within Iceland, and to or from Europe and Greenland. However, masks are still required on service to Canada, the US, Germany (except Frankfurt), and Paris.Virgin AtlanticVirgin Atlantic.EQRoy/ShutterstockAs of March 16, Virgin Atlantic has changed its mask rules to be optional on flights from Heathrow and Manchester to the Caribbean. Specifically, face coverings can be removed on flights to or from Barbados, St Lucia, Antigua, Grenada, The Bahamas, Jamaica, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad & Tobago.Scandinavian AirlinesTouring SAS Scandinavian Airlines' Airbus A350-900 XWB.Thomas Pallini/InsiderScandinavian Airlines, also known as SAS, removed the mask mandate for flights in Sweden, Denmark, and Norway in October, but has expanded that to all flights except to and from the US, China, and Italy as of April 4.Norwegian Air ShuttleNorwegian Air ShuttleNorwegian Air ShuttleNorwegian Air Shuttle changed its covid-era mask policy on April 4, now allowing passengers to forgo face coverings on all of its flights. However, masks may still be required on routes to certain destinations. The company said that as of February 12 when the mandate was lifted in Scandinavia, it has "noticed increased passenger demand and optimism in regards to booking ahead for both leisure and business travel."KLMA KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Embraer E195-E2 aircraft.Wirestock Creators / Shutterstock.comThe Netherlands has scrapped the mask mandate for public transportation on March 23, except for in airports and on aircraft. A Dutch flag carrier KLM spokesperson told TPG it finds the decision "inappropriate, given the phase the pandemic is in," and said it will "no longer monitor this from March 23," and instead "strongly recommend that our passengers wear a face mask on board in line with EASA and ICAO guidelines."On its website, KLM noted that some destinations have different mask requirements and the airline will send passengers an email "in the week before departure" with mask policy details for their destination.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderApr 19th, 2022

A Perfect Storm of Problems Has Airline Employees Bracing For an Especially Hellish Holiday Travel Season

American Airlines pilot Celeste Pasqua Pearce knew it was going to be a rough start to the holiday travel season. On a flight over the long Thanksgiving weekend, a flight attendant took away a first class seat from a toddler traveling with his parents. The parents had paid for the seat, but the flight was… American Airlines pilot Celeste Pasqua Pearce knew it was going to be a rough start to the holiday travel season. On a flight over the long Thanksgiving weekend, a flight attendant took away a first class seat from a toddler traveling with his parents. The parents had paid for the seat, but the flight was oversold and the flight attendant was looking for any way to fit more passengers on the plane. She didn’t even ask; she just told the parents she was taking it. Luckily it was a short haul: John F. Kennedy Airport to Miami International Airport. But it still meant unhappy parents with their squirmy toddler suddenly and unexpectedly a lap child. “I am sure that they will be refunded for the seat, but they weren’t happy about the last minute-change,” says Pasqua Pearce. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] The “most wonderful time of year” is anything but that for passengers and flight crews this holiday season, and the list of grievances is already piling up: oversold flights, cancelled flights, understaffed planes and airports, last-minute equipment changes, stressed flight crews, and belligerent travelers. Add to that skyrocketing COVID-19 case numbers from the Omicron variant and constantly changing vaccine rules and dates, and you have a recipe for very little merriment. “The variant. It’s like pulling the rug out. What’s going to happen next?” says Pasqua Pearce. “It’s the new variant, it’s being short staffed. It’s a lot of things that make it especially hard flying right now.” It’s good for Pasqua Pearce that her second job is moonlighting as a yoga instructor. “I do yoga on a layover or if I’ve had a very long day. I definitely do some deep breathing,” she says. As a pilot, she considers herself one of the luckier ones. “I get to close the door,” she says. It is the flight attendants who are on the front lines and are forced to take the brunt of the unruly and sometimes violent passengers. Hans Gutknecht / Getty ImagesDelta Airlines employee Mari-Zelle Cefre works on a technique during a self defense class. Federal Air Marshals put on a self defense class to commercial aircrew members in Los Angeles, Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021. The Marshals taught basic self defense with the new skills tested in a simulated passenger aircraft at the end of the class. As of November 30, the FAA had received 5,433 reports of unruly passengers, 3,923 of them mask related, year-to-date. The agency has launched 1,017 investigations related to these reports. With the federal mask mandate for transportation currently scheduled to remain in effect until January 18, 2022, these incidents aren’t expected to go away any time soon and definitely not before the holiday travel season gets in full swing. But more looming and confusing for flight workers is the vaccine mandate for federal contractors, according to Thom McDaniel, a Southwest Airlines flight attendant and International vice president for the Transport Workers Union of America. The deadline has changed numerous times, and there are now legal challenges to it in numerous cities and courts, putting its enforcement in question. “I think all of the airlines and I certainly know that all of the unions are kind of waiting to see what the final disposition is going to be on this. When the mandate was made, it wasn’t very clear, and everybody just started trying to implement it in their own way,” he says. “And now I feel like a lot of what’s happening is people are just waiting to see what’s actually going to end up being the final product.” For American Airlines Premium Guest Services representative Victoria Kuhns, what ultimately happens with the federal mandate won’t affect her job. She is based at San Francisco International Airport in American Airlines Admirals Club, and back in September, San Francisco’s mayor London Breed announced that all contractors with the county were required to either be fully vaccinated or receive a medical or religious exemption and get tested weekly. Kuhns could think of only one person she knew who had chosen not to get vaccinated. “Our manager has gotten some reports that the number of people vaccinated has increased within the airline since this has come about,” she says. Kuhns flew over the Thanksgiving holidays, a time of year she would normally never get on a plane but did after she was able to get the flights she wanted despite having to go standby as an employee. Surprising to her, things went quite smoothly. But she knows of at least one coworker who cancelled her holiday travel plans for fear of not being able to return home. “She was hoping to go to the Christmas markets. She was first going to Germany, and then she changed it to France, and then it was back to the northern part of Germany and Ireland,” says Kuhns. “She ended up never going. It was just too much of a headache, too many variables. You don’t want to go there, and then all of a sudden they change the rules, and then you’re stuck.” But it’s not just about changing health rules. It’s also flights being short-staffed and cancellations and flight changes, says Southwest’s McDaniel. “There’s lot of tension. A lot of people took time off during the pandemic, and a lot of passengers took time off, too. They didn’t do a lot of flying,” he says. “What they are coming back to is a pretty hectic situation with the airlines trying to ramp up and get their flying back to where it was. But they don’t really have the staffing to do that, which has created just really intense delays and a lot of problems in the airports.” If it’s the airline that cancels your flight, you are eligible for a refund, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. But if you are considering making the changes yourself, you’ll need to check with your particular airline for their latest cancellation or change policies given the rise of the omicron variant. For example, Delta Air Lines is allowing passengers with basic economy tickets to make changes without a fee or to cancel for credit for flights through December 31, 2021 and January 31, 2022, for flights originating in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and India. But American Airlines basic economy tickets bought on or after April 1, 2021, are still nonrefundable and not changeable. For Alaska Airlines pilot Peter Gbelia, Thanksgiving travel felt surprisingly close to “back to normal” and there were fewer hitches than he expected. Having no inclement weather helped. Plus, being a smaller airline helps: fewer delays and fewer cancellations. Most passengers were following the rules, according to Gbelia. “But one or two people can make the flight miserable for everyone,” he says. Many of the problems he has seen have been around mask compliance. “It’s hard to understand. Somebody will wear their mask in the airport, going through the check in, to the TSA line, waiting for the airplane, in line to get on the airplane. And then once they get on the airplane, they won’t. Why now?” Gbelia has noticed a change in those people flying this holiday season. “Passengers are less courteous, less polite, more needy. They seem to be on edge,” he says. But it’s not just them. “The flight crews are on edge as well. Our flight attendants are very professional and nice and courteous, but it’s just a burden for them to always have to bend over backwards to try and please people.” The frustration among flight attendants is not surprising, says McDaniel. “It’s not the job that we’re used to doing. It’s become so much harder, and some people are just not enjoying it as much, so they’re just choosing not to work as much.” This, combined with furloughs and early retirement due to the pandemic, is leaving airlines short-staffed and those flight attendants who are still working being asked to work longer shifts and more of them. McDaniel likes to remind people that, as first responders, flight attendants’ jobs are to keep people safe and secure. “We honestly believe that when we go to work, we should be able to go home safely to our families. And that’s a reasonable expectation for any job,” he says. His advice to anyone getting ready to brave the friendly skies this holiday season? “You might want to pack your patience and pack a snack and just remember that the people who are on that plane are there to keep you safe. We’re just doing our job, and all we expect is for you to let us do our job. We will take care of you if you take care of us.”.....»»

Category: topSource: timeDec 21st, 2021

Southwest CEO Says Masks Do Little To Prevent Covid Onboard

Gary Kelly, CEO of Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV), asserted that “masks don’t add much, if anything” to prevent COVID-19 infections onboard a plane. Kelly made the statement to a U.S. Senate panel on Wednesday, when he questioned mask mandates by the Biden government. Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Do Masks Do Little? As […] Gary Kelly, CEO of Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV), asserted that “masks don’t add much, if anything” to prevent COVID-19 infections onboard a plane. Kelly made the statement to a U.S. Senate panel on Wednesday, when he questioned mask mandates by the Biden government. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Henry Singleton Series in PDF Get the entire 4-part series on Henry Singleton in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q3 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Do Masks Do Little? As reported by Fox Business, Southwest CEO Gary Kelly also emphasized that air filtration systems in today’s commercial airplanes are effective to the point of making cabins the safest indoor place to be. The statement was prompted by Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., when he asked: “Will we ever be able, do you think, to get on an airplane without masks?” Kelly responded to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation: “The statistics I recall is that 99.97% of airborne pathogens are captured by the [high efficiency particulate air] filtering system, and it's turned over every two or three minutes." "I think the case is very strong that masks don't add much, if anything, in the air cabin environment...  It's very safe, and very high quality compared to any other indoor setting," he added. The hearing was attended by other industry representatives including airline executives such as the CEO of United Airlines Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:UAL) Scott Kirby, and CEO of American Airlines Group Inc (NASDAQ:AAL) Doug Parker. Further Questions Sen. Wicker then addressed the question to Parker, who said, “I concur. The aircraft is the safest place you can be – it's true of all of our aircraft. They all have these HEPA filters and the same airflow.” Scott Kirby supported the argument by stating that the air within aircraft cabins is safer than that of an intensive care unit, and added that “being next to someone on an airplane – sitting next to them – is the equivalent of being 15 feet away from them in a typical building.” Before President Biden’s mandate for using masks on commercial aircraft, airlines had already enforced the requirement in 2020 during the peak of the pandemic. ,” Fox Business reports that “The federal rule was slated to expire in September, but the Transportation Security Administration extended it through Jan. 18.” The use of masks onboard has been the source of several incidents among passengers and airline staff, prompting the FAA to strengthen punishments on unruly passenger behavior and urging airlines to do more on these types of incidents. Updated on Dec 16, 2021, 9:46 am (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkDec 16th, 2021

The FAA wants to fine a passenger $40,823 on charges of drinking illegal alcohol, smoking marijuana in the lavatory, and sexually assaulting a flight attendant

The individual was one of nearly 300 passengers who have been reported for alcohol-related disruptions this year. Flight attendants will be offered self-defense training from July amid rising passenger violence.Getty Images The FAA has announced a fresh $161,823 in civil penalties against unruly passengers. A passenger accused of illegal drinking and sexually assaulting a flight attendant was fined $40,823. Nearly 300 alcohol-related incidents have been reported to the FAA in 2021. Last April, as a Southwest Airlines flight was high above California en route to San Diego, one passenger insisted on consuming alcohol they had brought on board, ignoring the instructions of a flight attendant, according to the FAA.The agency alleges the passenger then sexually assaulted that flight attendant before heading into the lavatory and smoking marijuana. When the plane reached the gate, the FAA says the passenger resisted as police arrested them on a public intoxication charge.Today, the FAA announced that the passenger is facing a $40,823 fine — one of eight drunk and disorderly passenger fines in the latest round-up from the agency for a combined total of $161,823.Federal regulations prohibit drinking alcohol on a plane that was not served by a flight attendant, and it is a federal crime to interfere with the flight crew. Passengers have 30 days to respond once they have been notified of the FAA's decision.Another passenger, a man who flew on Delta, faces a $24,000 fine after crew observed him to be intoxicated and said that he told them he had been drinking at the Fort Meyers airport before the flight to Detroit, according to the FAA. The agency said he refused to wear a mask, menaced a female crew member, and was confined to the last row where another crew member guarded him as the flight was diverted to Atlanta."This is America. This is free speech. What don't you understand?" he yelled, per the FAA.On a JetBlue flight from New York to Ecuador, the FAA said a man refused to wear a mask and peed on the lavatory floor after drinking alcohol he brought on board. That flight was diverted to Fort Lauderdale to remove the man, who now faces a $17,000 fine.When a Delta flight attendant approached a woman for a second time to tell her she could not drink the mini-bottles she had brought on board, the woman proceeded to drink a bottle in front of the attendant and started filming the attendant with her phone, the FAA said. The San Francisco-to-Atlanta flight was diverted to Las Vegas, where the woman was removed. She now faces a $16,000 fine.There have been more than 5,000 unruly passenger incidents reported to the FAA in 2021, of which nearly 300 were related to alcohol and intoxication. More than 100 incidents this year have involved charges of physical assault, and the total penalties for 2021 now top $1.3 million.The FAA can only issue civil fines, but the agency previously said it has referred 37 of the "most egregious" cases to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for criminal prosecution for possible jail time.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 22nd, 2021

The FAA wants to fine a passenger $32,000 over allegations that she punched her husband and son, threw trash at a flight attendant, and snatched another passenger"s cookies

A total of 10 airline passengers have just been fined a combined $201,287 over allegations of unruly behavior involving physical assault. Passengers board an American Airlines flight from California to North Carolina Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images The FAA has announced a fresh $225,287 in civil penalties against unruly passengers. One passenger accused of punching her family and throwing trash at crew is facing a $32,000 fine. More than 100 incidents of physical assault have been reported to the FAA in 2021. The incident that led to largest fine in the Federal Aviation Administration's latest round of civil penalties appears to have started over a seatbelt.The FAA alleges that, on a flight to San Francisco from Austin, Texas last May, a Horizon Air passenger refused to follow crew members' instructions to buckle up, and then punched and screamed at her son and husband.When crew attempted to intervene, she threw trash at them and "snatched cookies from a nearby passenger," the agency alleges.Now she's facing a $32,000 fine and has 30 days to respond to the charges following the agency's notification of its enforcement decision.The Horizon Air passenger was one of ten cases of alleged physical assault aboard US aircraft that the FAA announced on Wednesday, representing a combined total of $225,287 in civil penalties.A Delta passenger was hit with a $20,000 proposed fine for another alleged incident of seatbelt violations that escalated to physical violence against a flight attendant, as well as threats that he would "[expletive] up his a**," per the FAA.Half of the cases involved violations of the FAA's face masking regulations, with four who are alleged to have reacted violently to crew member instructions to wear a face mask, and one accused of spitting on a crew member and refusing to stow her carry-on luggage.Interfering with aircraft crew is against federal law in the US, as is physically assaulting or threatening assault crew or anyone else on an aircraft. Penalties can include fines and prison time if a person is found guilty.More than 5,000 reports of unruly behavior by passengers have been logged at the FAA, but only 227 cases have had enforcement action initiated, meaning offenders pay civil penalties and are not charged with a criminal offense, the agency said.More than 100 of the passenger disturbance reports this year have involved physical assault, and the total penalties for 2021 now top $1.2 million with this latest announcement.The FAA can only issue civil penalties, but the agency previously said it has referred 37 of the "most egregious" cases to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for criminal prosecution.Flight attendants have previously reported being punched, groped, spat at, and verbally abused by passengers this year.If you are a flight crewmember or airline passenger who would like to share an unruly passenger experience with Insider, please email Dominick Reuter.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 10th, 2021

An airline pilot that"s kicked passengers off planes for not wearing masks shares what goes on in the cockpit when passengers become unruly

Pilots and flight attendants have been forced to deal with increased bouts of violence in the skies. Sorbis / Shutterstock.com Pilots and flight attendants have been forced to deal with increased bouts of violence in the skies. Tensions over the ongoing federal mask mandate have created hostile environments on some flights. One airline pilot shared how he deals with unruly flyers and what goes on in the cockpit while incidents occur. See more stories on Insider's business page. The airline industry is facing unprecedented levels of violent incidents onboard airplanes as tensions rise over issues including the federal mask mandate. In the US, more than 3,200 cases of unruly behavior onboard aircraft have been reported by the Federal Aviation Administration as of early July. And while flight attendants are tasked with dealing directly with unruly passengers, an aircraft's pilots have to ensure the security of the cockpit, communicate with their airlines' head offices, and most importantly, keep flying the plane. One captain for a major US airline spoke to Insider on the condition of anonymity so he could speak freely on the pilot's perspective of these incidents.In-flight violence is rare for this airline industry veteran of nearly 30 years. But during the pandemic, he's had to personally kick off a handful of passengers for unruly behavior while on the ground, some of whom were likely banned by the airline for their behavior.One incident occurred in Los Angeles where a gate agent notified the pilot of a potentially problematic passenger, based on her mask's messaging. "It said 'fuck you' right in big bold yellow letters," he said. The passenger ultimately turned the mask inside out at the request of the flight's gate agent. Once on board, the pilot left the cockpit with the agent to speak to the problem passenger and confirm that she wouldn't be an issue."No, captain, I told you I got it," he remembered the passenger as saying. But after the encounter, the pilot heard the passenger refer to the agent as a "Karen."She was kicked off the plane and relegated to the next available flight.Another incident occurred on a flight where two passengers tried to self-upgrade into an extra-legroom section. They were told they couldn't and started flouting the mask rule, trying to take advantage of the eating and drinking loophole by eating Skittles. Flight attendants reminded the couple to mask up in between bites, to which the female passenger responded: "Well, yeah, we're eating now, bitch, so you can just fuck off." The aircraft was nearing the runway for departure when the flight attendants made the decision to call the cockpit and get the passengers off the plane."I felt like the dad driving to the resort, turning around, swatting the kids, saying, 'if you don't settle down, I'm just going to turn this car around," the pilot said.Had the incident happened while in the air, a decision would have been made as to whether to continue on to the destination or divert. Dennis Tajer, a captain for American Airlines and spokesperson for the Allied Pilots Association, told Insider that a diversion would only be considered if a problem is uncontainable and the distraction was too great to continue on with a flight."Our goal in any unruly passenger incidents is to deescalate and contain [to] keep everybody safe," Tajer said of diversions. "If for some reason that containment is in question, then it would be the captain's ultimate call after consultation with [airline] security." Pilots also can't leave the cockpit to deal with these problems directly as it would compromise the integrity of cockpit security and serve as an additional distraction from flying the plane. "We are on full alert at all times for all possibilities," Tajer said of the cockpit environment. Reporting unruly passengers takes away from that awareness, and also includes contacting dispatchers on the ground. Relevant departments and individuals are also looped in, taking them away from their primary work responsibilities."These [disruptive] people took attention away from several people who were just trying to operate the flight," the anonymous pilot said. Like many, he doesn't want to have to wear a mask on an airplane but tells Insider that he has to ensure the safety of the aircraft and enforce the rules that his airline sets. "I don't like wearing the mask, I don't want to wear the mask, I hate asking them to wear the mask," he said. "But we don't have any choice at this point." Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderOct 23rd, 2021

Mask Mandates Make Comeback To US College Campuses

Mask Mandates Make Comeback To US College Campuses Authored by Bill Pan via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours), Two months after the federal government eased mask recommendations for most Americans, some colleges and universities have reinstated mask mandates, along with other measures, citing surges in COVID-19 cases on their campuses. Columbia University in New York City on May 10, 2021. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times) Several prominent institutions—including American University and Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.; Columbia University in New York; Johns Hopkins University in Maryland; and Rice University in Texas, to name a few—have brought back indoor mask requirements that were phased out not too long ago. Many of these schools already have vaccine and booster mandates. For example, Columbia required all students and employees to submit proof of their booster vaccination before March, boasting an overall 99.9 percent compliance rate for the campus community. Yet it now demands that students wear surgical masks in classrooms because of an uptick of COVID-19 cases on campus and elsewhere in New York City. “Based on the current situation and in an abundance of caution, we will require wearing of non-cloth masks in classrooms,” the Ivy League school announced on April 10. In a more recent update, the university said the requirement wouldn’t go away any time soon, despite an overwhelmingly high level of vaccination among the campus population. “We anticipate making no changes in our current campus COVID-19 guidance, unless New York City puts in place measures that we would be required to follow,” Columbia officials said on April 22, noting a “gradual increase in COVID-19 cases” in the city. Rice also requires all eligible students and employees to get booster shots. In mid-March, the Houston-based university lifted its mask mandate for vaccinated individuals, only to reverse the policy after less than a month because of a sudden rise in COVID-19 cases. “There’s been a significant rise in the number of positive cases reported in our community—about 145,” the university said in an April 10 statement. Specifically, Rice demanded that everyone in a classroom wear a mask regardless of their vaccination status, except for instructors while lecturing, since 90 percent of those new cases have occurred among undergraduate students. Large events also have been canceled. Students can continue to eat in dining halls, but at half of the designated capacity. According to a COVID-19 tracker on Rice’s website, the university has recorded 31 positive tests for the week following Easter. There’s also been a noticeable downward trajectory since April 10, but the restrictions remain in place. Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, health officials and the mayor raised the city’s COVID-19 alert level on April 18, requiring citizens to wear face coverings when out in public. That has prompted a number of schools, including the University of Pennsylvania, Temple, St. Joseph’s, La Salle, Drexel, and Thomas Jefferson universities, to require students and staff to mask up while in school buildings. All of these Philadelphia schools went mask-optional again just three days later, when the city announced that it not only has reversed the decision to reimpose the mask mandate, but also ditched the COVID-19 alert system that triggered it. “The infection rate is going down, hospitalizations are going down, and, frankly, the ruling in Florida confused a lot of stuff. SEPTA is doing what they did and confused a lot of stuff,” said Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney. Kenney was referring to a U.S. district judge in Florida who struck down a federal rule requiring face coverings for planes and other forms of public transportation, as well as the decision by SEPTA, Pennsylvania’s regional transit authority, to lift the requirement that travelers must wear masks on its buses and trains. Florida’s universities were among the earliest in the nation to drop their mask mandates. South Florida University has been mask-optional since August 2021, while the University of Florida said it simply doesn’t have the authority to force people to mask up on campus. “The university does not currently have the authority to take the actions you recommend,” University of Florida President Kent Fuchs wrote in response to the Alachua County Commission, which had asked the school to adhere to a public health emergency declaration that mandated masks indoors. Tyler Durden Wed, 04/27/2022 - 20:45.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytApr 27th, 2022

Why Delta, United, and Alaska are letting the passengers they banned for not wearing masks back on flights

Travel analyst Henry Harteveldt called the decision "reasonable and fair," but airlines need to think about what to do if the mandate is reinstated. Paul Bersebach/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images Airlines like United and Delta said they would welcome passengers previously banned over masks back onboard. Travel analyst Henry Harteveldt called the decision "fair," while a flight attendant union called it "irresponsible." United CEO Scott Kirby said some passengers will face a lifetime ban and never be allowed back. Since the federal mask mandate has been lifted, thousands of passengers previously barred from flying due to unruly behavior over masks may be welcomed back on board.United Airlines and Delta Air Lines announced on Wednesday that they will reinstate flight privileges for those previously banned from the carries for mask-related violations. Up to 2,000 Delta and 1,000 United customers may be brought back, with United confirming to Insider that the decision will be made on a "case-by-case basis."Alaska Airlines, which put over 1,700 people on its internal no-fly list, has also decided to bring passengers who were banned "solely for mask noncompliance" back on flights, USA Today reported. However, the airline noted that "some guests whose behavior was particularly egregious will remain banned."According to Delta and United, travelers must commit to following the inflight safety rules if they want to fly again. A Delta spokesperson told Insider that the privilege will be restored "only after each case is reviewed and each customer demonstrates an understanding of their expected behavior when flying with us.""Any further disregard for the policies that keep us all safe will result in placement on Delta's permanent no-fly list," the spokesperson added. "Customers who demonstrated egregious behavior and are already on the permanent no-fly list remain barred from flying with Delta."United CEO Scott Kirby reiterated the sentiment in an interview with the Today Show on Thursday, emphasizing that some passengers will never be allowed to fly United again due to bad behavior, but those that "simply refused to wear a mask" could return."We have talked to them individually and many of them assure us that now that mask mandate is off, then everything is going to be fine, and I trust the vast majority of them will," Kirby explained.However, the TWU, a union that represents over 65,000 flight attendants at American, Southwest, JetBlue, Frontier, Envoy, Alaska, and Allegiant told Insider that the decision is "irresponsible" when the airlines have not established a "clear vetting process" or "consulted with the union, our essential workers, or even outlined a plan of how they will protect them."Henry Harteveldt, travel analyst and president of Atmosphere Research Group, told Insider that airlines have "consistently said that passengers who refused to wear a face mask when they were required risked being banned for as long as that requirement was in place."So, now that the mandate is gone, he says welcoming banned passengers back is "reasonable and fair." However, he emphasized this only applies to people who did not get physically abusive, echoing Delta, United, and Alaska.He also said that while the mandate is currently not in effect, airlines need to think about what happens if it gets reinstated."Given the Department of Justice's decision to possibly appeal the ruling overturning the mask requirement on public transportation, airlines must also consider what they will do if a court rules in favor of the mask requirement and reinstates it."The mask mandate on public transportation, including planes and airports, was lifted on Monday after Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, a federal judge in Florida, struck down the Biden Administration's policy extension.Shortly after, the US Transportation Security Administration announced it would no longer enforce the mandate.The rule was originally scheduled to lift on March 18 but was extended to April 18, and again to May 3, before Mizelle intervened. However, the US Department of Justice said on Wednesday it is appealing the judge's ruling, according to Reuters.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytApr 21st, 2022

Which Airlines—and Other Transit Services—Are Still Requiring Masks

After a federal judge in Florida struck down the Biden Administration’s transportation mask mandate on Monday, several major U.S. airlines and transit systems began to ditch their mask requirements nationwide, giving travelers and airline employees their first break from COVID-19 safety restrictions in nearly two years. A viral video showed the rollback was met with… After a federal judge in Florida struck down the Biden Administration’s transportation mask mandate on Monday, several major U.S. airlines and transit systems began to ditch their mask requirements nationwide, giving travelers and airline employees their first break from COVID-19 safety restrictions in nearly two years. A viral video showed the rollback was met with a chorus of cheers aboard a Delta flight from New York City to San Francisco, as passengers ripped off their facial coverings when it was announced over the intercom. “Finally!” one person exclaimed. Other travelers expressed concern on social media that the move was premature, and worried for those with compromised immune systems or children not yet eligible for vaccination as cases rise nationwide. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] But as the nation looks to return to normalcy this spring, the April 18 ruling marks the end of an era for most airlines, which saw more than 5,000 unruly passenger reports related to mask mandates since January 2021, according to Federal Aviation Administration data. Mask mandates are still recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to allow more time to study BA.2 variant of omicron, which is now responsible for the vast majority of cases in the U.S, though the CDC will not enforce it and allows airlines and regional transit systems to decide their own mask policies. Here’s what each of the major U.S. airlines and transit systems have said as of April 19. This list will be updated. Alaska Airlines The Pacific Northwest giant will not require face masks in U.S. airports and onboard aircrafts, though customers must continue to wear facial coverings on flights both to and from Canada, where a mask mandate remains in effect, the airline said on April 18. Alaska is also requiring customers to wear masks at each of the international airports it serves: five in Canada, eight in Mexico and two in Costa Rica. “It has been a long 24 months with nearly constant change,” said Max Tidwell, vice president of safety and security at Alaska Airlines. “I could not be prouder of our frontline employees who have handled every pivot focusing on safety and the care we’re known for. We’re also thankful for our guests who remained considerate, patient and stood by us throughout every twist and turn.” Guests who were previously banned from flying Alaska for refusing to wear a mask will remain banned even after the mask policy is rescinded, the airline noted. Allegiant Air The Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air, which only serves domestic airports, will no longer enforce the federal mask mandate, it said in a statement. “Should the guidance change, we will adjust our policy accordingly,” the statement continued. “Passengers and employees still have the option to wear masks in airports and on aircraft if they so choose.” American Airlines Face masks are optional for all customers and employees at U.S. airports and on domestic flights, American said in a statement roughly five hours after the Florida ruling. The airline will still require masks on its flights to cities and countries where mandates are in place, such as Canada and much of Asia, however. “Please note face masks may still be required based on local ordinances,” the airline said. “In keeping with our commitment to creating a welcoming environment for everyone who travels with us, customers and team members may choose to continue to wear masks at their own discretion.” Delta Air Lines Masks are now optional for all Delta passengers and employees at U.S. airports and on board domestic flights, the airline announced Monday night. Facial coverings may be required for international flights depending on local mandates. In a statement, Delta acknowledged that despite the change, public health measures are still important and that employees and customers may continue wearing masks if they choose. “Wearing a well-fitting mask—such as a KN95—protects the wearer, even if others around them are not wearing masks, according to our Chief Health Officer Dr. Henry Ting.” The airline also noted the “unexpected nature of this announcement” and alerted customers that it may take some time to remove all of its old mask signage from airports across the nation. “You may experience inconsistent enforcement during the next 24 hours as this news is more broadly communicated.” Frontier Airlines The low-cost domestic and international airline is no longer requiring passengers and employees to wear masks on its flights, though mask requirements for international travel “remain dependent on the arrival/departure country’s regulations,” the airline said in a statement Monday. “Following today’s ruling by a federal district court judge in Florida that the Biden administration’s mask mandate is unlawful, the mandate is no longer in effect while the ruling is being reviewed,” Frontier said. “Please note that individual airports and municipalities may still require masks so customers and team members should continue to abide by mask rules within any facility that may require it.” JetBlue Airways Masks are no longer required in U.S. airport terminals or on JetBlue planes, the New York-based airline said Monday night. Employees will also no longer make announcements about enforcing the mask mandate before departing on domestic flights, which was previously a requirement. “Customers of course remain free to wear them if they choose,” the airline said in a memo to employees. “This sudden end to the mask mandate may be confusing for some customers… Given the immediate nature of this change, our website and other customer-facing materials may continue to say a mask is required. We will begin removing these notices, and will also need [to] be prepared to reinstate them if necessary.” Southwest Airlines Masks are no longer required onboard most of Southwest’s aircrafts or in airports, the airline said in a statement Monday, acknowledging that some cities, states and countries may still require masks. It encourages individuals “to make the best decision to support their personal wellbeing” about whether or not to wear a mask while in the air. “We understand there are a number of opinions on this topic, and we ask that you respect and support the individual decisions made by others – that is how we will show hospitality and make customers and cohearts (Southwest employees) feel welcomed, cared for, and appreciated,” Steve Goldberg, Southwest’s senior vice president of operations and hospitality, said in a memo to employees late Monday. Southwest said it will continue to offer additional layers of protection against the spread of COVID-19, including “sophisticated cabin air ventilation systems” that use HEPA air filtration to remove “at least 99.97% of airborne particles.” Spirit Airlines The other discount airline—which could soon be owned by Frontier or JetBlue—also announced on Monday that masks are optional. “We understand some guests may want to continue wearing face coverings on flights, and that’s perfectly fine under our optional policy,” Spirit said in a statement. “For our guests traveling internationally, please remember to check country-specific airport requirements before traveling.” United Airlines United will stop requiring masks on domestic flights, it announced Monday, but they will be required on flights into countries where mandates remain in place. “While this means that our employees are no longer required to wear a mask—and no longer have to enforce a mask requirement for most of the flying public—they will be able to wear masks if they choose to do so, as the C.D.C. continues to strongly recommend wearing a mask on public transit,” the airline said. What about airports? Most U.S. airports have confirmed that they will no longer be enforcing mask requirements, but a handful of others are keeping mask mandates in place, including New York’s JFK and LaGuardia and Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway. Amtrak Like all the major U.S. airlines, Amtrak is not requiring passengers or employees to wear face masks on its trains or inside stations. “Masks are welcome and remain an important preventive measure against COVID-19,” the passenger rail service said in a statement on April 19. “Anyone needing or choosing to wear one is encouraged to do so.” Amtrak operates more than 300 trains per day. Local transit Commuter trains and subway policies vary across the country, but several regional railway systems are still requiring masks. Riders of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York City (M.T.A., which operates the city’s subways and buses) as well as Los Angeles Metro and Chicago CTA, for instance, must wear masks while in transit. Although a federal judge ruled to overturn the nationwide mask mandate on public transit, the decision-making power is ultimately in the hands of local transit agencies. The M.T.A., following a decision by the New York state health commissioner, is doubling down on its mask requirement as the city continues to see infections. On Monday, over 7,500 positive COVID-19 cases were reported in New York City. Other train systems like Brightline, a regional rail service in Florida, and the D.C. Metro are making masks optional for passengers. Charter buses Greyhound, Megabus and Coach USA are no longer requiring face masks for passengers or employees. “The CDC still recommends wearing a mask while on public transit and we encourage customers to make the choice that makes sense for them,” Coach USA and Megabus Vice President Colin Emberson said in a statement. “Please be mindful that masks may still be required while traveling through the bus stations we serve.” Facial coverings must be worn on cross border trips into Canada and Mexico until their requirements are removed, Greyhound noted. Ride sharing Masks are now optional for riders and drivers on Uber and Lyft, the nation’s largest ride sharing platforms, except in New York City, where masks are required for taxis and for-hire vehicles. Both companies note that its users should be respectful of personal preference and may cancel a trip at no cost if they feel uncomfortable. “Remember: many people still feel safer wearing a mask because of personal or family health situations, so please be respectful of their preferences,” Uber posted on its website, noting that the CDC recommends wearing masks. “And if you ever feel uncomfortable, you can always cancel the trip.” Andrew Hasbun, head of safety communications at Uber, confirmed to TIME that users who cancel a trip for safety reasons would not incur a cancellation fee. “If they are charged, riders can contact our support team and explain the reason for the cancellation in the app,” he said. “Canceling a trip for safety reasons does not count against a driver’s cancellation rate.” Lyft also announced a similar message. “Anyone who wants to continue wearing a mask is encouraged to do so,” it said in a statement. “As always, drivers or riders can decline to accept or cancel any ride they don’t wish to take.”.....»»

Category: topSource: timeApr 20th, 2022

US Airlines Extend Masking Requirements For 1 Month Due To CDC Recommendation

US Airlines Extend Masking Requirements For 1 Month Due To CDC Recommendation Just when frequent flyers were hoping to finally get some relief from the CDC's masking rules, the agency has decided on Thursday to extend the requirements for another month. They are now set to expire on April 18. The TSA has previously expected the mask mandate would expire after March 18, but it will be extended by a month due to the CDC's recommendation. During that time, the CDC will work to revise its framework around when masks should be required on forms of transportation, basing its assessment on COVID case levels, new variant risks and other data. US travelers and commuters have been required to wear masks covering their mouths and noses on nearly all forms of public transportation and inside transportation hubs for nearly two years now. The mandates have been extended twice before. The latest extension comes as most states have dropped masking mandates and the CDC has eased its federal masking guidance as well. But even as cases continue to decline, the CDC has decided to extend its COVID restrictions for some reason. Of course, enforcing masking guidelines has proved "challenging" for the TSA. Airlines, the FAA and the federal security agency have issued a record number of fines to unruly passengers, with almost all of the incidents beginning due to non-compliance with masking rules. Tyler Durden Thu, 03/10/2022 - 15:01.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeMar 10th, 2022

Delta CEO Asks DOJ To Enforce A National "No Fly" List For Unruly Passengers

Delta CEO Asks DOJ To Enforce A National "No Fly" List For Unruly Passengers It looks like the "friendly skies" are a thing of the past. Ever since the beginning of the pandemic, air travel has become an increasingly cantankerous undertaking, with flights routinely breaking out into fisticuffs over mask policies, social distancing rules and other guidelines that were introduced as part of 15 days to slow the spread...almost 2 and a half years ago. Now, Delta Airlines has seen enough. They are asking that unruly travelers should be placed onto a national “no-fly” list, according to CNBC.  CEO Ed Bastian has officially asked the U.S. Department of Justice for the help in an effort to deter aggressive behavior on flights, the report says.  Bastian wrote to Attorney General Merrick Garland that the list “will help prevent future incidents and serve as a strong symbol of the consequences of not complying with crew member instructions on commercial aircraft.” Of the 5,981 cases of unruly passenger behavior that were logged in 2021, 72% of them were related to disputes over mask compliance. 350 enforcement actions followed.  This year, 323 reports of such passengers have found their way to the FAA.  The idea of a central "no fly" list for unruly passengers was put forth by Delta last September. Garland then told prosecutors to prioritize cases involving disruptive and violent behavior on flights.  So far, 1,900 people have been barred from flying Delta due to not adhering to mask mandates.  Tyler Durden Mon, 02/07/2022 - 19:40.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeFeb 8th, 2022

Prosecutors accused a Delta passenger of mooning a flight attendant and putting his hat on the captain"s head after refusing to wear a mask

An FBI special agent wrote in an affidavit that the passenger "created numerous disturbances" and allegedly threw a can at another passenger. Flying Delta Air Lines from New York to Mexico City, Mexico.Thomas Pallini/Insider A Delta passenger was accused of mooning a flight attendant and passengers earlier in January. The incidents started after the passenger allegedly refused to wear a face mask on the flight, prosecutors said. An FBI agent said the passenger "created numerous disturbances" on the flight, the Daily Beast first reported. Federal prosecutors accused a Delta passenger of mooning a flight attendant and passengers after refusing to wear a face mask on a transatlantic flight earlier this month. Shane McInerney was flying from Dublin to New York on January 7 when he allegedly repeatedly refused to put on a facemask at the request of the flight crew, according to an affidavit from an FBI agent, which was first obtained and reported by Justin Rohrlich of the Daily Beast.The FBI wrote that during the flight, McInerney allegedly "created numerous disturbances," like throwing an empty beverage can at another passenger and kicking the back of the seat in front of him.McInerney also allegedly pulled down his pants and underwear and mooned a flight attendant and other passengers, according to the affidavit, which also accused the man of putting his hat on the captain's head at one point.The affidavit said that the flight crew "repeatedly stopped their ordinary duties to address" the alleged disturbances. McInerney's attorney declined to comment and said there has not been a court date scheduled yet. He was charged with interference with flight crew members and attendants and released on $20,000 bond, according to court documents. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.The Federal Aviation Administration has said it recorded over 6,000 incidents of unruly passengers in 2021. Most incidents, however, did not lead to criminal charges.The criminal complaint against McInerney comes a week after three women were charged with drunkenly assaulting Delta gate agents at JFK before a flight to Puerto Rico.And last month, federal prosecutors in Tennessee charged a woman with interfering with a flight crew, and accused her of kicking and hitting flight attendants, and screaming that she wanted to get off the plane.Recent indictments reflect the Justice Department's elevated priority of aviation-related crimes following Attorney General Merrick Garland's instructions to federal prosecutors in November.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 21st, 2022