SEATTLE - Alaska Airlines says a number of passengers on flight 1085 from Washington Dulles to Seattle Thursday night refused to wear masks and harassed crew members. On Friday, the company announced that 14 passengers involved in the unacceptable behavior have been banned from future travel with the airline.
"As we moved into the summer into the fall and even now the issue of compliance have become an issue, passenger disruption reports things of that nature have actually skyrocketed," American Airlines flight attendant Paul Hartshorn Jr. said.
Hartshorn can’t speak for what the Alaska crew members went through but he says the job for him comes with a lot of anxiety now.
"The angst when you get on a flight you never know what you are going to have now," Hartshorn said.
Many of the flight disputes centering around masks ever since many airlines made it mandatory this summer.
Hartshorn is also a spokesperson for the Association of Professional Flight Attendants and he says many of his members have been voicing concern over safety.
They are asking for the FAA to impose uniform rules across all airlines.
"That way passengers know when they on one airline or another airline they know the rules," Hartshorn said.
Meanwhile, the union representing the Alaska Airlines workers says four flight attendants were involved in last night’s rowdy trip and are taking time off to recover.
"The people who acted out on Alaska flight 1085 violated federal regulation and created unsafe conditions during flight. The airline should permanently ban them and they need to be held accountable under the law. Our union is providing support to the crew after this disturbing incident." Taylor Garland with the Association of Flight Attendants said.
Alaska Airlines says they have banned 302 passengers since August for violating the mask policy. The ban will be in place as long as the mask policy is in effect.
SeaTac Airport Spokesperson Perry Cooper says police were on standby last night just in case but they were not needed, no criminal activity happened.
Cooper says Alaska Airlines took care of the whole situation.
American Airlines released this statement.
"American Airlines flight attendants are trained to address a wide range of issues that may arise at any point during a flight and are empowered to take action in response to any situation that would disrupt a customer’s journey with us. We strive to create a safe, inclusive and comfortable environment for our customers and team members."