Airlines Announce Plans to Ban Passengers Who Won’t Wear Masks on Flights

Delta, United and American Airlines have all just announced that they will be banning passengers who refuse to wear masks on flights. This announcement came in response to reports that airlines were not enforcing their own mask policies.

“So far, there have thankfully only been a handful of cases, but we have already banned some passengers from future travel on Delta for refusing to wear masks on board,” Delta CEO Ed Bastian wrote in a memo to employees that was sent out on Thursday, according to the New York Post.

Delta has had a rule in place that all passengers must wear face masks beginning at the check-in lobby since early May, and the airline has had flight attendants wearing face coverings since April 27. American and United Airlines have mandated that passengers must wear face masks since early May as well.

Though Delta is beefing up their mask policy, they are relaxing their policy when it comes to booking middle seats.

“As the business starts to return, as demand starts to grow, and if people have more confidence in their travel experience, we will decide later in this year when we start to ease up on that cap restriction,” Bastian added.

He went on to defend the tough policy that the airline has put in place when it comes to masks.

“Parts of the country have seen a resurgence of Covid-19, and this week new cases nationwide grew at their highest level since April,” he wrote, according to CNN. “That’s why it is more important than ever to adhere to the safety and health guidelines we have put in place to keep you safe. One of the most effective measures we have is wearing a mask, which numerous studies have shown can slow the spread of the virus. We take the requirement to wear a mask very seriously.”

Overall travel is still more than 75% below what it was a year ago as the coronavirus continues to reek havoc on all aspects of our society. Bastian explained in his memo that 500 Delta employees have tested positive for COVID-19 since March, and ten of them have died.

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