Dec 21, 2021 - Economy

Unruly air passengers could lose TSA PreCheck under new FAA partnership

Photo of a sign that says "TSA PreCheck" in a hallway with passengers carrying suitcases

A sign points toward a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) PreCheck checkpoint at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta on Jan. 14, 2019. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Air passengers who display unruly behavior could lose their TSA PreCheck privilege under a new partnership between Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Federal Aviation Administration, the FAA announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: Airlines have seen increasingly contentious passenger behavior in the past year, with the Federal Aviation Administration confirming over 5,500 cases of unruly passengers in 2021. Most involved mask-related incidents.

  • Flying has become so dangerous for crew members, due to attacks by violent passengers, that airline unions are asking for government help in bringing civility back to the skies, Axios' Joann Muller writes.

Details: Under the new partnership, the FAA will share information with TSA on passengers who face fines for unruly behavior.

  • The TSA, in turn, may remove the passenger from eligibility for its PreCheck screening, which the FAA considers a privilege reserved for low-risk travelers.
  • The TSA will also help the FAA identify and locate passengers in order to serve them with penalty notices.

What they're saying: "If you act out of line, you will wait in line," FAA administrator Steve Dickson said in a statement. "Our partnership aims to promote safe and responsible passenger behavior. One unruly incident is one too many."

  • “TSA has zero tolerance for the unruly behaviors, especially those involving physical assault occurring aboard aircraft," added TSA administrator David Pekoske.
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