United Steps Up Face Mask Policy

Refusal to comply could result in flight ban
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2020 4:55 PM CDT
United Will Ban Flyers Who Refuse to Wear Masks
A passenger wears a face mask as he checks his bags at the Alaska Airlines counter in Denver International Airport, Wednesday, June 10, 2020, in Denver.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

If you refuse to wear a face mask on a United Airlines flight, the airline is going to refuse to let you on another one of its planes. The airline says that as of Thursday, people who ignore its mandatory mask policy will be placed on an "internal travel restriction list" and will "lose their travel privileges on United for a duration of time to be determined pending a comprehensive incident review," USA Today reports. The airline says all passengers are expected to wear a face mask when not eating or drinking, except for small children and those with a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask. It says passengers who do not comply will be reminded of the policy and provided with a mask. If they continue to refuse, they will be given a "policy reminder card"—and if this fails to persuade them, the flight attendant will file an incident report.

Since the mask requirement was introduced for passengers on May 4, weeks after flight attendants were required to wear masks, "we have been pleased that the overwhelming majority of passengers readily comply with our policy," Toby Enqvist, United's chief customer officer, said in a statement. "Today's announcement is an unmistakable signal that we're prepared to take serious steps, if necessary, to protect our customers and crew." Other major airlines, including Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines, also require masks to protect passengers and crew from the coronavirus. They haven't announced temporary flight bans for those who don't comply, though Southwest says it will deny boarding to any passenger who refuses to wear a face covering, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. (More airline stories.)

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