More airline companies are joining Delta in its decision to ban passengers from carrying guns in their checked bags leading up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration next Wednesday (January 20) amid the insurrection by President Donald Trump's supporters at the United States Capitol building last week.
United Airlines, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines all confirmed they would have bans beginning on Saturday (January 16) and running through January 23, the Associated Press reports.
“We are all on high alert based on the events over the last couple weeks up in Washington,″ Delta CEO Ed Bastian told CNBC on Thursday (January 14) via the AP.
Spirit and JetBlue did not respond when reached for comment by the AP.
Additionally, American Airlines announced its plan to bring back a ban on serving alcohol on flights to and from the Washington area from Saturday to next Thursday (January 21.) Several airlines also plan to move crews out of hotels located in downtown Washington as a safety precaution.
The Federal Aviation Administration this week said it plans to raise enforcement of rules against interfering with or assaulting airline crew members or other passengers, which includes calling in law enforcement for potential charges, fines and jail terms instead of giving warnings to violators during the next two months.
Last week, prior to the incident at the Capitol, multiple Trump supporters in an airport and on a Delta flight from Salt Lake City to Washington heckled Senator Mitt Romney, a Republican who has been outspoken with criticism over President Trump and was among the senators who voted in favor of his impeachment in 2019. Bastian told the AP six people were identified with help from airline employees and other passengers and have been permanently banned from Delta flights.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham was also harassed in the terminal of Reagan Washington National Airport after voting to certify President-elect Biden's victory last week, which occurred around the same time 14 Alaska Airlines passengers harassed crew members and refused to wear masks during a flight from Washington D.C. to Seattle.
Last week, protesters supporting President Trump stormed the United States Capitol amid the vote to certify President-elect Biden's victory in the 2020 presidential election, which led to the death of five individuals and forced elected officials to evacuate the House and Senate chambers before later continuing session in the evening.
An announcement was made inside the Capitol ordering lawmakers to evacuate due to "an external security threat" as dozens of protesters forced their way inside the building, the Associated Press reports.
Both chambers were sent into recess and later resumed at around 8:00 p.m. EST to confirm the nomination of President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
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