Not wearing a mask on-broad not an option

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Delta Air Line enforces stricter rule on wearing a mask while on-board.
Delta Airlines 767-300 at John F. Kennedy International Airport on December 3, 2019. (photo by Quintin Soloviev/Wikipedia)

The coronavirus pandemic continues to affect and to change the way we travel. Wearing a mask on a flight has become the new norm for airlines around the world. The US legacy Delta Air Lines is not an exception.

According to Delta statement, “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 from the CDC.”

However, on Delta Flight 1227 from Detroit to Atlanta on July 23 two passengers did not follow crew’s in-flight instructions and refused to wear their masks. At the time of the incident the aircraft was still taxing on the runway. As a result the aircraft was returned to the gate and the passengers removed from the flight before departing again to Atlanta.

Last month Delta reinforced their mask policy stating, “Customers with unique mask requirements should bring the appropriate face covering that best meets their needs. Customers with underlying conditions that explicitly prevent the wearing of a face covering or mask are strongly encouraged to reconsider travel or should be prepared to complete a ‘Clearance-to-Fly’ process prior to departure at the airport.”

On July 27 Southwest Airlines followed by American Airlines enforced stricter rules on face mask requirements. In a recent statement Southwest explained, “If a Customer is unable to wear a face covering or mask for any reason, Southwest regrets that we will be unable to transport the individual. In those cases, we hope the Customer will allow us to welcome them onboard in the future, if public health guidance, or other safety-related circumstances, regarding face coverings changes.”

The incident on Delta Flight 1227 comes a day after the current chief executive officer of Delta Air Lines Edward Bastian told that “You cannot board a Delta plane unless you have a mask on. If you board the plane and you insist on not wearing your mask, we will insist that you don’t fly Delta into the future.”                                                                                                                       

We see more US airlines require their passengers to wear masks regardless of their ability to do so. And if you cannot wear a mask, most likely you won’t be flying.

The airline extended its offer to assure passengers’ travel plans by offering more flexibility when they book, change or cancel a flight. It also extended the change-fee waiver to new flights purchased through August 31. Moreover, Delta provides the ability to rebook travel for up to two years for passengers who purchased flights prior to April 17, 2020, that are pending travel through the end of year.



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Ian Powers is a travel blogger and nature enthusiast. Ian has over 20 years of aviation travel experience.

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