U.S. airlines could ban passengers who refuse to wear face masks when traveling during the Coronavirus pandemic, Airlines for America, the US Aviation industry’s main lobby group has announced.
According to the group, masks will be provided to passengers who do not have any. The group added that passengers could have their flying privileges revoked under tougher enforcement policies if they are caught flying without masks.
Carriers with stricter policies that could see travel privileges of erring customers revoked include Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines, and the rules will stay in place for at least the next 60 days.
The group also revealed that each carrier will decide the appropriate consequences for passengers who fail to comply, but there will be certain exemptions, including when people are eating or drinking.
“The airlines will clearly inform passengers about their individual policies on face coverings before flying, followed by an announcement with specific details onboard”, Airlines for America said.
American Airlines said its updated policy begins on Tuesday, followed by United Airlines on Thursday.
United said defaulters will be placed on an internal travel restriction list that would prevent them from flying with the airline ‘for a duration of time to be determined pending a comprehensive incident review.’
Delta said it was doubling efforts to ensure customers are aware of, acknowledge and comply with its mask requirement, which it said is one of the most important ways to ‘stay safe while flying.’