The Department of Justice (DOJ) said Wednesday that it's sending Delta CEO Ed Bastian's letter urging the creation of a national "no-fly" list to the appropriate officials, noting the department is "committed to holding accountable those who violate federal law."
"The Department of Justice is continuing to prioritize the investigations and prosecutions of those who engage in criminal behavior that threatens the safety of passengers, flight crews and flight attendants," the department said in a statement to Fox News.
In a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland last week, Bastian said passengers convicted of a disruption onboard a flight should be added to the national "no-fly" list.
It's the latest move from Bastian to quell the number of unruly passenger incidents that first erupted over a year ago. It's an issue that a majority of U.S. carriers are facing.
Last fall, Delta tried to urge other airlines to coordinate with each other by sharing internal "no fly" lists, arguing a ban doesn’t work if a passenger can travel on another airline.
In his recent letter, Bastian argued that there should be "zero tolerance" for any behavior that affects flight safety. To date, the carrier has already placed nearly 1,900 people on its "no-fly" list for refusing to comply with masking requirements and submitted more than 900 banned names to the Transportation Security Administration to pursue civil penalties.
While Bastian says such incidents of bad behavior represent a small fraction of overall flights on Delta, the rate of incidents on the airline has increased nearly 100% since 2019.
In January 2021, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) implemented its zero-tolerance policy after seeing "a disturbing increase in incidents where airline passengers have disrupted flights with threatening or violent behavior."
Under the FAA's zero-tolerance policy, passengers can face fines of up to $37,000 per violation. However, if a passenger commits multiple violations, they can face an even higher penalty.
When the FAA noticed that incidents were still occurring, although at a slower rate, they started referring the most "egregious" cases to the FBI for criminal prosecution review, according to officials.
The FAA is also sharing information about passengers facing fines for unruly behavior with the TSA, which may remove the passenger from its pre-check screening eligibility, a privilege reserved for low-risk travelers.
As of Feb. 8, there have been 394 reported cases of unruly passengers. About 255 of those cases were related to federal mask mandates, according to the FAA's latest data.
In 2021, airlines reported nearly 6,000 cases of unruly passengers to the FAA. Throughout the year, the FAA launched 1,081 investigations into passenger behavior on flights, which was the highest total since the agency started keeping track in 1995.
FOX Business' Brie Stimson' and The Associated Press contributed to this report.