Alaska Airlines Copies Soccer With Warnings For Mask Offenders

Alaska Airlines has taken inspiration from soccer and will be issuing passengers with yellow cards as warnings. Starting in July, the airline will allow cabin crew to give passengers a card if they refuse to wear a face mask during a flight. The card will carry a warning that the passenger faces suspension from future travel if they do not comply.

Alaska Airlines will issue yellow cards to any passengers who refuse to abide by health and safety regulations. Photo: Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines is using an innovative technique to help enforce the new health and safety regulations. Many major US airlines now require passengers to wear face masks at all times. However, there are issues when it comes to enforcing the rules. Several photos and videos have surfaced on social media, showing that some passengers are refusing to wear masks while flying.

Alaska Airlines hopes this new method of providing a clear warning will encourage passengers to follow the rules as well as dispelling any tension felt by other travelers. The airline commented that cabin crew still encounter “moments when some travelers disregard or disobey our mask requirement. It creates tension and anxiety for many of our passengers who do have their face coverings on.”

Stay informed: Sign up for our daily aviation news digest.

A yellow card warning

Being issued with a yellow card on an Alaska Airlines flight is similar tor receiving one on the football pitch. It stands as a final warning. Any further infraction of the rules will mean sanctions. In football, this means being sent off the pitch. For Alaska Airlines this means that anyone given a yellow card that still refuses to wear a mask would have their travel “reviewed and could be suspended for a period.”

The card also carries information about any passengers who are exempt from the rule and may continue to travel without a mask. Small children and anyone with existing medical conditions that make wearing a mask difficult may travel without one.

Alaska Airlines yellow card
The yellow card carries a warning message, so passengers are fully aware of the next step if they refuse to wear a mask. Photo: Alaska Airlines

Wearing masks for the foreseeable future

Many airlines are working under the assumption that wearing a mask on flights will be compulsory for at least the next few months. If Alaska Airlines’ yellow card system is effective, more airlines may use similar methods to help enforce regulations. The US government is allowing airlines and airports to choose which rules to implement and how to enforce them, without federal guidance.

Airlines for America issued a statement last week saying its member airlines would be enforcing mask-wearing policies more firmly after some passengers refused to wear them. As state restrictions ease, more travelers mean there is a higher chance of passing or catching the virus when flying. Enforcing the new social distancing and other health and safety policies will be essential for several more months.

Face masks Argentina passengers
Wearing face masks while traveling could be a new standard requirement. Photo: Getty Images

Alaska Airlines is going to provide masks for any passengers without one and will also provide hand sanitizer wipes. The policy of enforcing health and safety regulations as well as providing protective equipment is, according to the airline, to help reduce tension for passengers as well as for their safety. Many people are still reluctant to fly and are nervous about contracting the virus when traveling.

Would you be happy sitting next to someone not wearing a mask on a flight? Do you think Alaska Airlines is right to give out yellow cards? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.