AFA Statement on FAA Referrals of Violent Passengers to DOJ

WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 4, 2021) — The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced Thursday it has referred more than three dozen unruly passengers to the FBI for potential criminal prosecution amid a sharp rise in onboard incidents.

The FAA and the Justice Department (DOJ) have established an information-sharing protocol for the FAA to refer unruly passenger cases to the FBI for review and faster prosecution.

The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA International President Sara Nelson released the following statement:

"FAA Administrator Steve Dickson and the entire agency have been relentless about communicating the seriousness of air rage incidents, working with airlines, airports and unions to push for solutions that remove these threats, distractions, and serious safety concerns from aviation. Expeditiously referring the most violent, physical assaults against crewmembers and passengers to the Department of Justice for public prosecution is the most effective way to deter bad actors and put a stop to the spike in disruptive passengers. We applaud this move and call on the Justice Department to take swift action.

"In addition, our union continues to call for the creation of a centralized list of violators who will be denied the freedom of flight on all airlines. If a passenger physically assaults crewmembers or other passengers on one airline, they pose a risk to passengers and crew at every airline. They should be banned from flying on all airlines. Period.”

Last month, AFA testified before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee with a list of recommendations to help combat disruptive passenger incidents.  


The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, (AFA) AFL-CIO represents nearly 50,000 Flight Attendants at 17 airlines. AFA is the union that has advanced the Flight Attendant profession for 75 years, beating back discrimination and improving wages, benefits, working conditions, and aviation safety, health and security in the aircraft cabin. AFA also partners with the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit us at

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