The airlines are fed up with with seeing armed air marshals taking up free seats in first class. A trade group representing the major U.S. carriers has asked the Federal Air Marshals Service to consider putting their agents in coach.
According to reports, the Air Transport Association and several airline CEOs have appealed to the head of the Transportation Security Administration in the hope of putting air marshals in the cheap seats.
Writes USA Today:
The airlines and some security experts say the need isn’t as great as it once was for marshals to sit in first class, where they can serve as a barrier to a suicide hijacker. They say security measures such as hardened cockpit doors and recent terrorist attempts in the rear of planes suggest that threats may be at least as great elsewhere on planes….
Marshals contend it was “inappropriate” for the airlines to raise the issue publicly because it could expose the agency’s tactics to terrorists, says John Adler, president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, which represents marshals.