Wearing a mask on United Airlines flights isn’t optional. After almost two months of requiring passengers to wear masks, the carrier is implementing consequences: Anyone who refuses to comply with its mask policies will be temporarily banned from travel.
Starting on June 18, any United passenger who won’t wear a mask will be placed on an internal travel restriction list, meaning they will lose their travel privileges through the carrier “for a duration of time to be determined pending a comprehensive incident review,” the airline shared in an announcement.
The only exceptions to the policy are people who have a medical condition or a disability that prevents them from wearing a face covering, those who can’t put on or remove a face covering by themselves, and small children.
"We have been requiring our customers to wear masks onboard United aircraft since May 4 and we have been pleased that the overwhelming majority of passengers readily comply with our policy,” United's chief customer officer Toby Enqvist said in a statement. “[This] announcement is an unmistakable signal that we're prepared to take serious steps, if necessary, to protect our customers and crew."
United is one of many other major airlines–including Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, and Southwest Airlines–implementing strict mask-wearing rules and consequences, according to Airlines for America (A4A), an industry trade organization that represents leading U.S. airlines. The policies are expected to remain in place throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
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