Delta won’t allow DC-bound passengers to check guns ahead of Biden’s inauguration

A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent screens an airline passenger at O’Hare International Airport on October 19, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois.

Scott Olson | Getty Images

Delta Air Lines won’t allow travelers flying to the airports serving the Washington D.C.-metropolitan area to check firearms on its flights ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, CEO Ed Bastian said Thursday.

The new policy, which starts this weekend and runs through next week, comes after last week’s deadly pro-Trump riot at the U.S. Capitol and a spate of politically motivated disturbances on flights and at U.S. airports. Law enforcement authorized to carry firearms will be exempt.

“We’re all on high alert based on the events over the last couple of weeks in Washington,” Bastian said in an interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

The Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday said it would take a zero tolerance policy for travelers who are unruly or interfere with flight crew duties, fining them up to $35,000.

Airlines, airports and hotels are ramping up security ahead of the inauguration. Several airports said they will add more police, while airlines are increasing staffing and booking overnighting crews at airport hotels. American Airlines late Wednesday said it will suspend alcohol sales for Washington D.C. flights.

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