The Federal Air Marshal Service is arguably the least competent law enforcement agency in the country. Naturally they are part of the TSA, which reportedly has a program to make sure air marshals don’t show up to the airport drunk.
No air marshal has ever stopped a terrorist or hijacker since the service was founded in 1962. Although an air marshal did shoot and kill a US citizen in 2005. If something really bad did happen on a flight and an air marshal was onboard they lack the training to do anything about it.
Liam Neeson Was an Air Marshal in the 2014 film “Non-Stop”
Last year an air marshal left a loaded gun in the lavatory of a Delta flight. Three years ago an air marshal left a loaded gun in a Newark airport bathroom and two years ago in a Philadelphia airport restroom. In 2001 an air marshal left a handgun in an aircraft lavatory where it was found by a teenager.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Air marshals have smuggled cocaine, engaged in sex trafficking, and discharged their weapons in hotels and bars. We spend $200 million per arrest on the air marshal program. And to be clear that is not $200 million per arrest of a terror suspect, most are just passengers behaving badly.
Air marshals used to regularly take first class seats at the last minute, bumping paying passengers. My wife and I were separated in first class on our honeymoon because an air marshal chose on of our seats — getting seated back together was complicated because the rest of the cabin was occupied by just-retired Congresswoman Jennifer Dunn and her entourage.
They claimed their job was to ‘protect the cockpit’ and needed the first class seat just like when an air marshal sued for being denied his first choice of meal and because a flight attendant spilled a drink on him. He approached the cockpit to report these incidents to the captain — and threatened the pilot.
Air marshals though are being moved towards the back of the plane where they can see all of the passengers in front of them, instead of having their back towards supposed threats. That will also help them monitor passengers who represent no threat at all. This new policy goes into effect December 28.
[A} change to the system set to be implemented Dec. 28 will see some federal air marshals stationed towards the rear of the passenger cabin on U.S. flights. Previous policy dictated that air marshals receive seats near the front of the cabin to facilitate protection of the cockpit.
If nothing else they’ll occupy fewer of the premium seats in economy that airlines sell to passengers for an extra charge.