November and December are the busiest months for flights, according to the Transportation Security Administration. These deployments will decrease the presence of air marshals on those flights by around 7%, Giaritelli said Friday on One America News Network.
“[Only] 1 in 100 flights at your local airport will have an air marshal on them this year,” she told In Focus host Addison Smith.
“I think that’s really scaring them because they feel like that’s their responsibility, and they can’t do it,” she said, as the marshals act as the Transportation Security Administration’s law enforcement.
The more than 2,500 unruly passenger incidents this past year, including one where a man tried to breach the cockpit on a Southwest Airlines flight and several dealing with knives, have only exacerbated those fears. Marshals carry guns and are trained to use them when necessary, Giaritelli said.
“Without an air marshal, it’s up to the passengers and the flight crew to take down unruly passengers,” she added.
Referencing the story she broke on a group of marshals who plan to stage an open rebellion against the deployment, Giaritelli explained exactly why they are upset with the administration’s moves.
“I was told this week that they were ‘heating up sandwiches.’ They were also sitting in rooms, confined spaces, watching people [and] driving people, migrants in custody, to the hospital, and then staying there on hospital watch, as is procedure,” she said.
“They feel … the federal government could be having other people contracted, doing this work, and letting the air marshals do what they’re trained to do,” Giaritelli said.
Despite the claims, she noted that the TSA has rejected this.
Giaritelli also said there are labor groups, such as the Air Marshal Association, that have questioned the rumored boycotts, saying the group of protesters is much smaller.
But, she said, “we’re going to wait and see.”