Member carriers of Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organisation representing the leading US airlines, are to “vigorously” enforce face covering policies, putting rigor around rules requiring passengers and customer-facing employees to wear facial coverings over their nose and mouth.
Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines will be implementing the following policy updates regarding face coverings:
- Preflight Communications: Each airline will clearly articulate its individual face covering policy in communications with customers, which may require passengers to acknowledge the specific rules during the check-in process.
- Onboard Announcements: Onboard the aircraft, crew members will announce specific details regarding the carrier’s face covering policy including the consequences passengers could face for violating the policy.
- Consequences for Noncompliance: Each carrier will determine the appropriate consequences for passengers who are found to be in noncompliance of the airline’s face covering policy up to and including suspension of flying privileges on that airline.
“US airlines are very serious about requiring face coverings on their flights. Carriers are stepping up enforcement of face coverings and implementing substantial consequences for those who do not comply with the rules,” said A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio. “Face coverings are one of several public health measures recommended by the CDC as an important layer of protection for passengers and customer-facing employees.”
The measures are expected to remain in place throughout the COVID-19 public health crisis.
All passengers are required to wear a face covering throughout the travel journey on the leading US airlines, as clearly stated on each airline’s website.
Recent posts on social media have highlighted instances of passengers not adhering to respective airline policies. In one instance that has since gone viral, a passenger was removed from an American Airways flight for refusing to comply with the face covering protocol.