Travel News Air Travel Airlines Tighten Security Ahead of Inauguration Day Major airlines are taking action to prevent more violence in America's capital Written by Ryan Smith Instagram Ryan is a New York City-based freelance writer who writes about travel, style, and food & wine. He regularly travels the globe in search of noteworthy hotels, sights, and other trends in food, wine, and culture. Tripsavvy's Editorial Guidelines Ryan Smith Updated 01/14/21 Fact-Checked by Reviewed on 01/15/21 Jillian Dara Instagram Jillian Dara is a freelance travel writer and fact checker. Her work has appeared in Travel + Leisure, USA Today 10Best, Michelin Guide, Hemispheres, DuJour, and Jetsetter. About TripSavvy Fact-Checking Jillian Dara Share Pin Email simonkr / Getty Images Following last week's deadly insurrection in Washington, D.C.—and with increasing reports saying more lawlessness is likely during President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration next week—major U.S. airlines are taking further action to discourage additional violent acts in America's capital. Starting this weekend, the country's three major airlines—Delta, United, and American—have banned firearms from checked luggage on flights headed to the D.C. metro area, except for law enforcement agents. This step is one of many that Ed Bastian, Delta's CEO, says the company is taking to help ensure the safety of its passengers. "We’re all on high alert based on the events over the last couple of weeks in Washington," Bastian told CNBC. For Delta, the ban will be in effect from Saturday, Jan. 16, through Jan. 23. Alaska Airlines, which banned 14 maskless passengers after a particularly eventful flight from D.C. last week, said they too would ban checked firearms on flights to the area, as well as begin enforcing a stricter mask policy. The airline will also require passengers to wait in their seats for an hour before take-off and upon landing, a policy similar to one enacted after the Sept. 11 attacks, and introduce new procedures for returning to the gate or diverting in the event of an issue on-board. These new policies cover flights going into Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI), Dulles International Airport (IAD), and Richmond International Airport (RIC). American Airlines will also be suspending alcoholic beverage service on flights to and from the D.C. area airports between Jan. 16 and Jan. 21. In the past week, following the violence at the Capitol, multiple carriers have had to deal with badly behaved passengers on flights to and from D.C. On a recent American Airlines flight from Reagan International Airport to Phoenix, a group of rowdy, maskless passengers starting chanting "USA! USA!," prompting the pilot to warn the mob that he would divert the plane, if necessary. “We'll put this plane down in the middle of Kansas and dump people off," the pilot said. "I don't care." The flight continued without issue. Lawmakers traveling back and forth between D.C. and their home states have been subjected to verbal assaults at airports, as well. Republican Senators Mitt Romney and Lindsey Graham were accosted by groups of passengers, prompting Delta to add the offenders to its no-fly list, said Bastian in an interview with Reuters. In light of this and many similar incidents over the past few weeks, the FAA will introduce stricter enforcement, too. The agency announced that unruly passengers will no longer get warnings. Rather, it will seek jail time and fines of up to $35,000 for passengers who assault or threaten airline crews or other passengers. To date, nearly 3,000 people have been banned from flying on major airlines. The majority of these are related to non-compliance with mask policies, but airlines say dozens of recent additions are due to the riots at the Capitol building. Article Sources TripSavvy uses only high-quality, trusted sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial policy to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy. Federal Aviation Administration. "Federal Aviation Administration Adopts Stricter Unruly Passenger Policy." Jan. 13, 2021 Was this page helpful? Thanks for letting us know! Share Pin Email Tell us why! Submit Airbnb Is Blocking And Canceling All Reservations in D.C. Metro Area During Inauguration Week Will I Need a COVID-19 Vaccine to Travel? Airlines Say "Maybe" America's Newest Budget Airline Just Launched With Fares Under $20 A Guide to Airports in Virginia Air Travel Is at Record Highs Since the Pandemic Started—But Is It a Comeback? What It’s Like to Fly Halfway Around the World During the Pandemic As Air Travel Begins To Rebound, Airlines Are Already Making Big Changes How to Get From New York City to Washington, DC The CDC Won't Require COVID-19 Testing for U.S. Domestic Travel. Here's Why Everthing You Need to Know About Air Travel With Your Dog Are U.S. Tourists Responsible for Mexico’s Recent Record-Breaking COVID-19 Spike? When Will My State Reopen? Dates for Every U.S. State Flight Attendants Are Contracting COVID-19 at a Lower Rate than the Public 10 Travel Trends We're Looking Forward to in 2021 Boeing's Infamous 737 MAX Is Back—Here’s What You Should Know What Countries Can I Travel To If I’m Vaccinated?