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Delta Bans Customers Who Publicly Harassed Mitt Romney

The customers involved in harassing Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) in an encounter that went viral on social media have been banned from flying on Delta, a company spokesperson said on Thursday, as the airline bolsters security measures in the wake of the Capitol attack.


KEY FACTS


CEO Ed Bastian first told Reuters Thursday morning that all customers involved in the incident targeting Romney have been put on a “no fly list,” a comment confirmed by Delta spokesperson Anthony Black.

Video shared to social media showed apparent supporters of President Trump harassing Romney while he waited in the airport, and chanting “traitor, traitor, traitor” on a flight with him for his refusal to support Trump’s continued efforts to overturn the results of the election.


Though Delta wouldn’t specify how many customers were banned for the incident, Black told Forbes it’s roughly a “handful.”


Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) was also harassed while at the airport earlier this month, though Delta said that this was not done on one of its flights.


BIG NUMBER


880. That’s how many people have been put on Delta’s no fly list for not not wearing a mask or engaging in unruly behavior related to the U.S. election, a spokesperson told Reuters.


CHIEF CRITIC


The Federal Aviation Administration, the government body that regulates all aspects of civil aviation, said Wednesday that it has instituted a zero-tolerance policy for travelers who are unruly or attempt to interfere with flight crew duties, and will institute fines up to $3,500 or refer cases to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution. “We’ve seen a disturbing increase in these incidents.... We’ll take the strongest possible enforcement action against any passenger who engages in it,” said FAA administrator Steve Dickson.


KEY BACKGROUND


Airlines and airports have bolstered security precautions in the wake of last week’s violent attack on the U.S. Capitol. Bastian announced Thursday that in anticipation of another violent spike around the inauguration, Delta will ban passengers (outside of law enforcement) from checking firearms on flights traveling to Washington, D.C. American Airlines has said that it will not serve alcohol on D.C. flights.


CRUCIAL QUOTE


“We’re on high alert based on the events of the last couple of weeks up in Washington,” Bastian told CNBC in a Thursday interview.


This article originally appeared on Forbes

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