After holding out on requiring passengers to wear face masks, Allegiant Air has succumbed to the pressure and have now made face masks mandatory. In a press release issued June 26, the Las Vegas-based airline said that all passengers onboard its flights would be required to wear a face mask starting July 2.
This news follows on from a record spike in coronavirus cases across the United States. When speaking about the rise in cases yesterday, America’s chief infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said there was a serious problem. Fauci blamed states opening up too soon and people not following guidelines outlined by the government.
Face masks mandatory as of July 2nd
Allegiant Air says that the face mask rule will apply to all phases of travel, including the ticket area, departure gate, boarding, and during the flight.
“Since the onset of the pandemic, in concert with CDC guidance and medical experts, we have adopted a wide range of policies and procedures to ensure our customers can fly with confidence – from utilizing state-of-the-art cleaning and disinfection technologies to providing complimentary Health and Safety Kits to all who travel with us,” said Allegiant Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Scott Sheldon.
Sheldon goes on to say that Allegiant has found that the vast majority of customers wear masks as a standard practice, but this update adds a layer of assurance and addresses customer needs as communities re-open.
The airline was hoping to see a federal mandate to require face masks, so that all airlines could be uniform in their approach, to avoid customer confusion, and to aid enforcement. However, in the absence of that, the airline is taking this next needed step in its own policy.
Allegiant was the first airline to provide passengers with free face masks
During the beginning of May, Allegiant became the first American carrier to provide its passengers with complimentary hygiene kits that included a face mask and anti-bacterial wipes. While previously not mandating that passengers wear face masks, the airline did advise passengers to do so.
Under the new facemask policy, the only people who will be exempt are children under the age of two and passengers with disabilities or those with documented pulmonary medical conditions.
Passengers will have to fill out a questionnaire
One exception to this is that passengers will be allowed to remove their masks briefly while having a drink or eating a snack. An acknowledgment that passengers understand the new Allegiant Air will be in the form of a questionnaire that passengers will be required to fill out before boarding. Any customer who is not willing to fill out the survey or refuses not to wear a face mask will not be permitted to board the plane.
Customers can ask to be notified if the flight they are booked to fly on is at more than 65% of its capacity. If so, passengers will then be given the option to rebook on another flight.
The statement adds that the new rules are all a part of Allegiant’s all-embracing “Going the Distance for Health and Safety Program” that includes in-cabin air quality, boarding procedures, and anti-bacterial cleaning.