Airlines ban DC-bound travelers from checking firearms ahead of inauguration

A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent screens an airline passenger at O’Hare International Airport on October 19, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois.

Scott Olson | Getty Images

Several massive U.S. airways on Thursday mentioned they’ll prohibit passengers flying to main airports serving the Washington, D.C., to test firearms, additional tightening safety ahead of President-elect Joe Biden‘s inauguration.

Delta Air Lines, Alaska Airlines, United Airlines and American Airlines mentioned the brand new coverage, which begins this weekend and runs by subsequent week, comes after final week’s lethal riot on the U.S. Capitol and a spate of politically motivated disturbances on flights and at airports. Law enforcement licensed to hold firearms will probably be exempt.

Airlines, airports and lodges are ramping up safety ahead of Wednesday’s inauguration. Several airports mentioned they’ll add extra police, whereas airways are rising staffing at airports and reserving overnighting crews at airport lodges as a substitute of the town heart. American Airlines mentioned late Wednesday it can droop alcohol gross sales for D.C. flights and supply non-public transportation for crews to and from the airport as a substitute of normal shared vans.

“We’re all on high alert based on the events over the last couple of weeks in Washington,” Delta CEO Ed Bastian mentioned in an interview on “Squawk Box.”

A spokeswoman for the Transportation Security Administration, which scans checked and carry-on luggage, mentioned it will probably detect improperly checked or undeclared firearms.

The Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday mentioned it applied a “zero tolerance” coverage for travelers who’re unruly or intervene with flight crew duties, fining them as much as $35,000.

Alaska Airlines mentioned it can require travelers flying to Reagan National, Baltimore-Washington and Dulles International to stay seated for one hour from take off or earlier than touchdown. That new coverage is reminiscent of a post-9/11 rule that required all passengers flying out and in of Reagan National to remain seated for 30 minutes after departure or earlier than arrival. That federal rule was scrapped in 2005.

Alaska additionally mentioned it will restrict the quantity of seats offered into the D.C. space.

The service final week mentioned it banned 14 travelers on a Dulles-Seattle flight for refusing to put on masks. The travelers have been “rowdy, argumentative and harassed our crew members.”

Delta mentioned it banned travelers who harassed Republican Utah Sen. Mitt Romney on one of its flights this week. The service has additionally banned greater than 880 travelers for refusing to adjust to masks necessities.

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