Airlines banning checked firearms on flights to DC ahead of inauguration

Major airlines say passengers can't check bags with firearms on flights to Washington, D.C. airports

Several airlines are banning firearms on flights to Washington, D.C. ahead of the presidential inauguration next week.

The moves come amid heightened security concerns following the violent riot by supporters of President Trump Jan. 6 at the Capitol.

United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines and Frontier Airlines will not allow passengers to bring firearms in checked baggage on flights to the D.C. area from Saturday, Jan. 16 through Saturday, Jan. 23, representatives from the airlines told Fox News. Exceptions will be made for credentialed law enforcement.

Demonstrators drag and capture a Metropolitan Police officer, while attempting to enter the U.S. Capitol building. (Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Demonstrators drag and capture a Metropolitan Police officer, while attempting to enter the U.S. Capitol building. (Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

AIRLINES FOR AMERICA SUPPORTS FAA MASK AMNDATE, PENALTIES FOR DISRUPTIVE PASSENGERS

"Nothing is more important than doing our part to keep people safe," the Delta spokesperson said.

Alaska Airlines will temporarily ban firearms from checked bags on flights to the D.C. area, among other added safety measures, starting Friday, Jan. 15.

American Airlines will also ban checked firearms from flights to the D.C. area starting Saturday, Jan. 16, Reuters reported. Representatives from the airline didn’t immediately respond to inquiries from Fox News.

Dulles International Airport is one of several airports in the D.C. area where airlines will not allow passengers to check bags with firearms ahead of the inauguration.

Dulles International Airport is one of several airports in the D.C. area where airlines will not allow passengers to check bags with firearms ahead of the inauguration. (iStock)

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Southwest Airlines initially didn't announce any changes to its checked firearms policy, but an airline spokesperson said later on Thursday that it would also temporarily not allow firearms on flights to D.C. area airports.

"Southwest is making this temporary change to bolster security in the wake of recent events in the nation’s capital," an airline spokesperson said. "The safety and security of our employees and customers always is our utmost priority, and we appreciate compliance by those who choose to travel with us during the coming days."

Some of the airlines are also taking added precautions like keeping crews out of downtown Washington hotels.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR LIFESTYLE NEWSLETTER

Airlines have already seen several recent instances of disruptive or unruly behavior on flights. Videos circulating on social media showed passengers shouting at Sen. Mitt Romney on a flight before the Capitol riot. Passengers arguing about Trump got into a shouting match on another flight. And one pilot threatened to divert a flight and "dump people off" on Friday after passengers chanted and refused to wear masks.

The FAA strengthened its policies for unruly passengers this week, with those who break rules facing stricter punishment.

The TSA does allow air travelers to carry unloaded firearms in locked hard-sided, checked containers, but that rule is subject to local laws and airlines’ policies. Passengers transporting firearms or ammunition must declare them when checking the bag.