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ICYMI: Orlando Sentinel Makes the Case for Rubio “No-Fly List” Objection

Feb 17, 2022 | Press Releases

No-fly list could prove problematic
Editorial Board
February 17, 2022
Orlando Sentinel 
While the rate of incidents seems to be dropping, it’s still much higher than it was pre-coronavirus. … 
That leads to an obvious question. What’s the best way to fix it? Many — including airline heads such as Delta Airlines’ CEO Ed Bastian, flight attendants’ organizations and aviation-industry associations — believe there’s an equally obvious answer. They want to create a “no-fly” list for passengers who have seriously misbehaved on flights.
In a letter to the U.S. Justice Department, Bastian said his airline maintains its own list of passengers it won’t transport, as do other airlines — but he wants a central roster with names of people who are not welcome on any commercial flight.
It sounds simple. Unfortunately, it’s not.
That’s why it’s disturbing that Bloomberg News reported Monday that airline officials from across the industry have been quietly communicating with the Biden administration for months on the creation of a new banned-passenger list.

Many will argue that the most disruptive passengers deserve nothing less — and that while Americans should have the liberty to travel without onerous restrictions, there’s no specific right to do so quickly via commercial air carriers. That ignores the realities of modern life. American society has adapted to the expectation of quick air travel. Declaring any group of people to be permanently earthbound is a far harsher punishment than many realize.

A group of senators, including Florida’s Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, have registered their own objection to the rule, saying it treats those who refuse to wear masks like terrorists. …
The federal government has had nearly two decades to get the concept of a no-fly list right, and civil libertarians say they still haven’t managed it. Federal officials should explore alternatives, such as more vigorous prosecution policies, first. If a no-fly list is really needed, the process should be publicly debated — and coupled with a resolve to fix the well-documented problems with the current travel bans.
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