Delta bans nearly 250 people from flying on its planes for refusing to wear masks
LOS ANGELES - Delta Air Lines has placed more than 240 people on a “no fly list” for failing to comply with its mandatory mask policy, CEO Ed Bastian said in a memorandum to employees on Thursday.
“Although rare, we continue to put passengers who refuse to follow the required face-covering rules on our no-fly list,” Bastian said in the memo, which highlighted the airline’s new hub facility in Salt Lake City.
There is currently no federal mandate on masks in airports or on airplanes, forcing each airline to implement its own regulations.
Delta customers and employees are required to wear a face mask or appropriate cloth face covering over their nose and mouth throughout their travel, aligning with best practice guidelines form the CDC, according to the company’s website.
“As we all work toward the recovery, it’s vital that we continue to stay focused on the drive to provide the safest, cleanest airports, aircraft and workspaces possible,” Bastian said.
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Face coverings are required across all Delta touchpoints, including the lobby check-in, Delta Sky Clubs, boarding gate areas, jet bridges, and onboard the aircraft, with the exemption of limited time while eating and drinking.
Passengers on major U.S. airlines are required to check a box that confirms they will follow the airline’s mask rules, and airline gate agents can deny boarding to anyone not wearing a mask prior to a flight, Reuters reported.
Delta said they continue to find ways to keep passengers safe aboard flights.
“We also are rolling out a new program, developed in partnership with our expert advisors at the Mayo Clinic, to proactively identify U.S. counties currently experiencing a higher risk of COVID-19 spread,” Bastian said. “On a weekly basis going forward, we plan to notify Delta people living in these “high risk” counties via targeted email so they can take appropriate precautions to protect themselves and their families."
On Thursday, Delta also announced that hand sanitizer stations will soon be available near boarding doors and lavatories on every Delta aircraft.
Over the past few months, our customer satisfaction scores have skyrocketed by double digits, including those for onboard lavatory cleanliness,” said Bill Lentsch, Chief Customer Experience Officer. “But that's not stopping us from going even further to make sure customers feel safe and comfortable when they travel with Delta.”
RELATED: Delta flight turns around after 2 passengers refuse to wear coronavirus masks
In August, a Delta flight departing from Detroit had to turn around when customers refused to wear face masks amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Delta and Southwest continue to block middle seats and have greater restrictions on airline capacity in a bid to provide some measure of social distancing for passengers.
In July, Delta said, “We are committed to capping cabin seating at 60 percent in Main Cabin and 50 percent in First Class and blocking middle seats through Sept. 30, 2020.”
Delta extended this policy through the holiday and winter season, blocking the selection of middle seats and limiting the number of customers per flight through at least Jan. 6, 2021.