Major US airlines have created a 'no fly list' for travelers who refuse to wear face coverings during the pandemic

ichoi@businessinsider.com (Inyoung Choi)
·2 mins read
United strengthened its mask requirements so that passengers must wear masks at the airport.
United strengthened its mask requirements so that passengers must wear masks at the airport.

Irina VIV/Shutterstock

Major US airlines are placing customers who won't wear masks on flights on "no-fly" lists.

On Friday, Alaska Airlines announced that any passenger over the age of 2 would be barred from flying with the company again if they refused to a wear a face covering, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

It's only the lastest airline to do so.

In late April, JetBlue was the first US airline to announce that it would require all customers to wear facial coverings on flights. Since then, all major US airlines require masks for passengers to board flights. Some like Delta and United have strengthened masking requirements – United now requires all passengers to wear masks at all parts of the airport prior to boarding.

Even so, a number of incidents where passengers refused to cooperate with the requirements to wear masks have made headlines in recent months. Many flight attendants have expressed concerns about having to confront passengers who will not comply with guidelines.

Earlier this month, a Delta Airlines flight heading to Atlanta from Detroit returned to the gate to remove two passengers who refused to wear masks. Delta's CEO told NBC's "Today" show in July that the airline would put customers who won't abide by the masking guidelines on a no-fly list, barring them from boarding any flight in the future.

United Airlines also said in June that it would prohibit passengers who refused to wear masks from flying with the airline in the future.

This weekend, the US marked at least 5 million coronavirus cases, according to Johns Hopkins University. Growing bodies of research attest that wearing face masks is key to reducing spread of coronavirus.

A former Federal Aviation Administration associate administrator for airports for the Obama administration told NPR that "No one has a right to fly" – airlines, as private businesses, have the right to deny service, in accordiance with their own policies.

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