clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Delta, Southwest are warning passengers to wear masks on flights. Here’s what could happen

Airlines continue to crack down on passengers wearing masks amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Several dozen mothballed Delta Air Lines jets are parked at Kansas City International Airport in Kansas City, Mo., on April 1, 2020.
In this April 1, 2020 file photo, several dozen mothballed Delta Air Lines jets are parked at Kansas City International Airport in Kansas City, Mo. The skies are clearing up a bit for airlines as states ease lockdown measures and travelers slowly return to airport check-in lines. More airlines are restoring flights to their schedules and investors have taken note, driving up shares for the major airlines after a staggering decline.
AP

Delta and Southwest both released statement this week that warned passengers about wearing face masks on flights, saying some might not be allowed to fly if they don’t wear a face covering.

What’s going on?

  • Airlines continue to crack down on travelers who refuse to wear face coverings when they’re onboard a flight. Currently, there is no federal rule from the Federal Aviation Administration about face masks. But airlines have made their own rules about face coverings.

Statements from airlines:

Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian said:

  • “We take the requirement to wear a mask very seriously. Customers who choose not to comply with this or any other safety requirement risk losing their future flight privileges with Delta. 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.”

Southwest Airlines said:

  • “Our policy of denying boarding prior to travel is designed to ensure anyone uncomfortable with wearing a face covering or mask does not board a Southwest aircraft.”
  • “Although Southwest is not denying boarding based solely upon a Customer not wearing a mask, we are providing masks and strongly encouraging Customers comply with the policy out of respect for the well-being of other Customers and our Employees during these unprecedented times.”

JetBlue said:

  • “Customers who refuse to comply with our policy will be denied boarding.”

The Allied Pilots Association has promoted the Safe Essential Air Transportation Seating (SEATS) program, which would encouraged the federal government to buy all middle seats on American Airlines, as I reported for the Deseret News.

Passengers have been removed from flights

  • An American Airlines passenger was removed from a flight for not wearing a mask. The removed passenger is a known conservative media voice, as I reported for the Deseret News.
  • A Canadian man was also removed from a flight for not wearing a mask and smoking a cigarette, as I reported for the Deseret News.