In-flight disturbances have plummeted since court overturned Biden's mask mandate
Forced masking was major contributing factor to fights in airlines, report finds
In-flight disturbances have plummeted this year since a court overturned President Joe Biden's mask mandate on the airline industry, according to a new investigation.
The current rate of unruly passengers on U.S. flights is 1.7 per 10,000 people, down from 6.4 per 10,000 in February, according to RealClearPolitics. There have been numerous instances of fights caused by disagreements around masking throughout the pandemic.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) originally instituted the mask mandate on Biden's first day in office. Within six months, 85% of airline rule-breaking was related to masking, according to RCP.
The mask mandate eventually fell to a federal court ruling in April, roughly a year after the FAA announced a strict no-tolerance policy in an attempt to crack down on disturbances.
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But while the question of masking is settled for now, Biden's Justice Department is still seeking to enforce the mandate, challenging the April ruling from U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizell in court.
The organization behind the lawsuit that originally overturned the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's measure, the Health Freedom Defense Fund (HFDF), is once again standing against the reimposition of the mandate.
"Most administrations of the last 10 to 20 years have sought this kind of power," HFDF President Leslie Manookian told RCP. "It’s not just the Biden administration. It’s about increasing the power of the federal government as well as people who are not elected, and it’s not a partisan issue. They all want more power and are getting it through these emergencies."
Currently, no major airlines that operate primarily in the U.S. are enforcing universal mask mandates on travelers.
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The return to more normal traveling has mirrored the return of travelers themselves. TSA checkpoint data indicates that the U.S. is just 4% under pre-pandemic passenger levels as of Dec. 10.