Delta Bans 100 Passengers for Refusal to Wear Masks

In this July 22, 2020 photo, a ticketing agent for Delta Airlines hands a boarding pass to a passenger as he checks in for a flight in the main terminal of Denver International Airport in Denver. .Air travel has collapsed because of the virus pandemic, and airlines are trying to …
AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian told NBC’s Today that the company has already added 100 travelers to its “no fly list” over refusal to wear masks.

Delta CEO Ed Bastian said it has already added 100 people to a “do not fly” list for their refusal to don appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). Even those unable to wear a mask are out of luck, according to the new policy.

“We implemented a new procedure this week because we’ve had some customers indicate that they have underlying condition that makes wearing a mask dangerous for them,” Bastian said during his appearance on Today. “We’ve told them that you may not want to fly, to reconsider whether air travel is the right form of transportation.”

Bastian also described procedures put in place to keep their flights safer. Aside from booking to 60% capacity and blocking off all middle seats, Delta regularly sanitizes and uses electrostatic fogging to disinfect the interior.

Despite all of the alterations and passenger anxieties, Bastian asserted that travel is pleasant. “The flight experience today is really positive,” he said. “I know there’s a lot of anxiety in the general public and even from road warriors who have been out flying for years. The first time back, there’s a level of angst that they need to almost be walked through the process.”

In a statement provided to NPR, Delta said “medical research tells us that wearing a mask is one of the most effective ways to reduce the COVID-19 infection rate,” and the company “remains committed to requiring customers and employees to wear a mask or face covering as a consistent layer of protection across all Delta touchpoints.”

“You cannot board a Delta plane unless you have a mask on,” Bastian said on Today. “If you board the plane and you insist on not wearing your mask, we will insist that you don’t fly Delta into the future.”

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