Grounded: Life On The No-Fly List

Picture this: You arrive at the airport, full of cheer ahead of a work trip to visit to a client. You wait in line to check in for your flight, but when you reach the counter, you’re told you won’t be able to board. Suddenly you’re surrounded by security guards and hauled off for questioning, with everyone gawking at you. You learn that you’re banned from flying – INDEFINITELY – to, from, or over the United States, even though you’ve never been charged with a crime.

You’re not told why. And there’s very little you can do about it.

That is the reality of the No Fly List, a secret government watch list being challenged by the ACLU and its affiliates in Oregon, California, and New Mexico. To help illustrate the unfairness and devastating human cost exacted by the No Fly List, we enlisted the talents of award-winning comic artist Jen Sorensen.

This comic was originally created for the American Civil Liberties Union. It is republished with permission from the author.

Jen Sorensen’s political cartoons appear in a variety of publications around the country, including The Progressive, Ms. Magazine, The Nation, Daily Kos, Medium, Alternet, and The Austin Chronicle. She is the winner of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. You can see more of her work at and follow her at @JenSorensen.