Major US airlines threaten to ban passengers who refuse to wear masks

Posted at 6:10 PM, Jun 15, 2020

Passengers who refuse to wear a mask or face covering could get banned from flying with some of the major U.S. airlines.

On Monday, Airlines for America (A4A), an organization that represents major U.S. airlines, announced it will increase its enforcement of face coverings. According to A4A, major U.S. airlines will implement the following policy updates regarding face covering:

  • Preflight Communications: Each airline will clearly articulate its individual face covering policy in communications with customers, which may require passengers to acknowledge the specific rules during the check-in process.
  • Onboard Announcements: Onboard the aircraft, crew members will announce specific details regarding the carrier’s face covering policy including the consequences passengers could face for violating the policy.
  • Consequences for Noncompliance: Each carrier will determine the appropriate consequences for passengers who are found to be in noncompliance of the airline’s face covering policy up to and including suspension of flying privileges on that airline.

“U.S. airlines are very serious about requiring face coverings on their flights. Carriers are stepping up enforcement of face coverings and implementing substantial consequences for those who do not comply with the rules,” said A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio in a press release. “Face coverings are one of several public health measures recommended by the CDC as an important layer of protection for passengers and customer-facing employees.”

Airlines implementing these new policies include Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines.

Passengers flying with airlines represented by A4A are assigned the following rules:

  • All passengers are required to wear a face covering throughout the travel journey on the leading U.S. airlines, as clearly stated on each airline’s website.
  • Additionally, travelers are urged to stay home when ill, frequently wash their hands and to wear a face covering throughout their air travel journey, consistent with CDC guidance.

Starting June 18, United Airlines passengers who refuse to wear a mask or a face covering could be placed on an "internal travel restriction list," according to a report from ABC News' Gio Benitez.

This story was originally published by KJ Hiramoto at WFTS.