Nearly every day, there’s another report of mayhem breaking out on an airplane after a flyer refused to wear a mask to stem the spread of COVID-19.
But now there’s a report that doing so will keep you from flying ever again.
More than 400 passengers won’t be flying Delta Airlines after allegedly refusing to wear face masks during flights, according to an internal memo obtained by NBC News.
“In a letter to Delta employees Thursday, CEO Ed Bastian said that 460 customers who refused to wear face coverings amid the coronavirus pandemic were added to the airline’s ‘no-fly list,’” NBC reported.
“Wearing a mask is among the simplest and most effective actions we can take to reduce transmission, which is why Delta has long required them for our customers and our people,” Bastian wrote as he announced the bans, according to the report.
A spokesperson clarified to Fox News that the number represents the cumulative total of passengers on the list.
— davidshepardson (@davidshepardson) October 23, 2020
Like many airlines, Delta began requiring masks for all passengers after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declared their effectiveness. U.S. airlines have been crushed by the pandemic as millions of Americans have shunned flying.
“With the cold-weather months approaching, stopping the spread will be crucial to our recovery from the pandemic and Delta’s return to growth and leadership within our industry,” Bastian wrote.
Other airlines have also been putting passengers who refuse to wear masks on their “no-fly” lists. An American Airlines spokesperson told Fox Business in August that the company “has added some customers to that list,” in effect since June 16.
“American already enforces this policy at the gate and will deny boarding to customers who don’t comply. American now may also deny future travel for customers who refuse to wear a face covering,” a press release issued around the time of the policy update reads. “American made this change after working in conjunction with Airlines for America on an industrywide response.”
Frontier Airlines has a similar policy.
“We are maintaining a record of passengers who refuse to comply with crew member instructions by not wearing a mask and are placing them on a list that precludes them from flying with us in the future (typically for a specified period of time),” a spokesman at Frontier wrote to Fox Business.
Southwest Airlines told Fox that its approach is to inform customers about their mask rules before travel to prevent people from boarding without personal protective equipment.
“As of June 16, Customers must acknowledge our mandatory face covering requirement via Southwest’s Customer Health Declaration which is presented during the online check-in process on the Southwest app, Southwest.com, and Southwest’s mobile website,” a spokesman at Southwest wrote to Fox. “Southwest also communicates this policy in pre-trip communications and expects compliance to this policy to prevent the need to ban a Customer from future travel.”
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