Unruly airline passengers could lose TSA PreCheck privileges

Unruly airline passengers could lose their PreCheck privileges under a new inter-agency partnership announced Tuesday.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said it will begin sharing information about passengers facing fines for unruly behavior with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), who could then remove the passengers from the program.

“If you act out of line, you will wait in line,” FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said. 

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“Our partnership aims to promote safe and responsible passenger behavior. One unruly incident is one too many,” he added.

The FAA announced a “Zero Tolerance” policy in January to curb a pandemic-era rise in violence and threats against flight crews. 

In a normal year, the FAA would see about 100 to 150 cases of unruly passengers per year. But the agency has recorded more than 5,600 reports of unruly passengers in 2021, the majority of which have been tied to mask wearing on flights.

“TSA has zero tolerance for the unruly behaviors, especially those involving physical assault occurring aboard aircraft,” TSA Administrator David Pekoske said.

Airline worker advocates have called for the creation of government and private no-fly lists for unruly passengers amid the increase in violence.

Many airlines have reduced or suspended in-flight alcohol purchases, and the Association of Flight Attendants has requested the FAA and lawmakers take steps to limit alcohol consumption in airports before passengers board their flights.