Delta has banned nearly 500 passengers from future flights because they refused to comply with the company’s face mask requirements.
The company’s CEO, Ed Bastian, revealed this figure in an internal memo sent to employees on Thursday. The memo was received by Tekk.tv on Saturday.
“Throughout the pandemic we have focused our efforts on protecting our employees, our customers and our communities,” Bastian wrote in the memo. “Wearing a mask is one of the easiest and most effective measures we can take to reduce transmission, which is why Delta has long needed it for our customers and our employees.
“As of this week, we have added 460 people to our no-fly list because they have refused to meet our mask requirements,” the memo continues.
On May 4, JetBlue was the first major U.S. airline to require face masks on board, Delta and other major airlines followed shortly thereafter. Since May 11, all passengers and crew members are required to wear a face mask when flying on any of the major U.S. airlines, including Delta, American Airlines, United Airlines, JetBlue Airways and Southwest Airlines and others.
In June, Delta joined United Airlines and American Airlines in declaring that the airlines can place travelers on an internal list of travel restrictions if they violate safety regulations, including not wearing a face shield. Inclusion on the list would have the effect of depriving the traveler of the privilege to use the airline in the future.
According to a report by WSB-TV Channel 2 Action News, the number of travelers banned due to Delta’s non-compliance with its masking requirement has been steadily increasing since its entry into force.
Delta explained its policy on its website. Passengers and employees of the airline are required to “wear a face mask on board the aircraft for the duration of the flight – except for a limited time when eating or drinking,” the company stated.
It added: “Customers with special mask requirements should bring the appropriate face mask that best suits their needs. Customers with conditions that specifically preclude the wearing of a face shield or mask are strongly encouraged to reconsider the trip or should be prepared to complete a “clearance-to-fly” procedure at the airport prior to departure. If you need this clearance, please arrive early to complete the process at check-in and avoid missing your flight – this process can take over an hour. Please arrive early to allow for additional time.
Delta also said that a face cover is required when checking in at the airline lobby, Delta Sky Clubs, gate areas and boarding bridges.