Flight attendant union wants Capitol extremists banned from flights
The AFA is working with airlines to ensure the safety of employees and provide support to members and their families.
The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA released a statement that calls for the participants in Wednesday’s riot on the Capitol to be banned from future flights.
“Air travel is safe because everyone follows a strict set of rules, based on the spirit that ‘we’re all in this together,” said AFA President Sara Nelson in the statement. “The mob mentality behavior that took place on several flights to the D.C. area yesterday was unacceptable and threatened the safety and security of every single person on board. It will not happen again. There’s a reason that there are strict penalties and fines for failing to comply with crewmember instructions. Enforcement keeps everyone safe.”
The union represents almost 50,000 flight attendants at 17 different airlines. The memo was released the day of the riots in the capital city. Many participants traveled by air to come to the District and cause mayhem.
Five people, including a Capitol police officer, died and 52 were arrested during the violent disruption at the Capitol. Thousands of supporters of President Donald Trump stormed Washington D.C. in an effort to prevent the official confirmation of President-elect Joe Biden.
The arrests of 47 people were for violations of the citywide 6 p.m. curfew enacted after the attack. One woman, Ashli Babbitt, a Trump supporter and Air Force veteran was shot and killed, and the other three fatalities were the result of medical emergencies during the riot. The FBI is asking the public for its help in identifying others recorded or photographed in the midst of illegal acts.
Over a dozen police officers were injured, two serious enough to require hospitalization. A pair of pipe bombs were also discovered, one by the Democratic National Committee office and the other near Republican National Committee’s main offices.
Social media posts showed passengers wearing Pro-Trump gear causing disruptions on planes to Washington D.C. Jabin Botsford, a staff photographer at the Washington Post shared a video of multiple people being removed from a flight.
In the statement, Nelson detailed the need to put safety first, naming the individuals who participated in disruption as undeserving of flight privileges.
“Our first priority in aviation safety and security is to keep any problems on the ground. Some of the people who traveled in our planes yesterday participated in the insurrection at the Capitol today,” she wrote. “Their violent and seditious actions at the Capitol today create further concern about their departure from the DC area. Acts against our democracy, our government, and the freedom we claim as Americans must disqualify these individuals from the freedom of flight.”
The organization shared that it is working with the airlines to confirm the safety of crewmembers and to provide union members and families with additional support.
According to the Washington Post both Delta Airlines and American Airlines have responded to the AFA with official statements.
“Delta continually works with law enforcement agencies and all aviation stakeholders to enact methods — both seen and unseen — as part of our unwavering efforts to keep everyone safe at our airports and on our flights,” the statement said. “We expect our people and customers to treat one another with dignity and respect as we safely fly them to their destinations, including wearing of masks and following all instructions from Delta people at the airport and on-board.”
American Airlines said it was “working closely with local law enforcement and airport authority partners and had increased staff at airports in the D.C. area beforehand.”
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