No mask, no flying, says United Airlines.
Earlier last week, the industry trade organization Airlines for America (A4A) announced it would be enforcing a new policy regarding face coverings on flights, making their use obligatory for all passengers. A4A member, United Airlines has decided to take the new policy up a notch and has announced all passengers who refuse to wear a mask will be banned from flying for an unspecified period of time.
“Every reputable health institution says wearing a mask is one of the most effective things people can do to protect others from contracting COVID-19, especially in places like an aircraft where social distancing is a challenge. We have been requiring our customers to wear masks onboard United aircraft since May. Today’s announcement is an unmistakable signal that we’re prepared to take serious steps, if necessary, to protect our customers and crew,” said United’s Chief Customer Officer, Toby Enqvist in a statement.
If you refuse to wear a mask on a United flight you won’t be banned right away, however. Under the airline’s new policy, first, you’ll be kindly reminded of the obligatory use of face coverings and one will be provided to you if you don’t carry your own. But if you keep insisting on not wearing a mask then the airline will be forced to file a report initiating a formal review process, suspending all of your flying privileges and will put you on an “internal travel restriction list.” In other words, if you vigorously refuse to wear a mask then you won’t be flying again any time soon.
United will make an exception when it comes to young children and those who have medical conditions that prevent them from wearing face masks.
The airline isn’t the only one choosing to ban non-compliant passengers from flying. American Airlines also released a statement earlier last week announcing it “may also deny future travel for customers who refuse to wear a face covering.”
So, if you’re looking to take a plane any time soon, remember: No face mask, no flying.
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[Featured image: Tim Gouw via Unsplash]