Last Thursday, despite instructions from staff, two passengers refused to wear masks onboard a Delta Air Lines flight to Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport. As a result, crew turned the plane around to go back to Detroit Metro Airport.
According to WXYZ Detroit, flight DL1227 did take off again and land in Georgia after being delayed by the return to Michigan. A spokesperson later confirmed to Simple Flying that the two customers onboard the Boeing 737 were non-compliant with crew instructions.
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Delta is clear about its strict approach to face masks. The Atlanta-based outfit recently shared that it will require a virtual medical evaluation from passengers if they have a condition that prevents them from wearing a covering. Furthermore, if for some reason fliers cant complete this process, the company recommends that passengers should reconsider their travels.
Last week, it was reported that at least 100 people have already been banned from flying with the operator over non-compliance when it comes to masks. Delta CEO Ed Bastian previously summarized his business’ hardline policy. He insists that those who don’t comply should not fly with the airline in the future.
Moreover, Delta will no longer allow passengers to wear masks with exhaust valves onboard. The Points Guy reports that the carrier said that any covering with this valve is not approved, as the firm does not deem it as an acceptable face mask.
“The latest guidance, informed by the many conversations we are having with health officials and other experts, is that face coverings and masks without vents work best for everyone’s safety,” the airline added, as reported by The Points Guy.
“Delta has plenty of complimentary masks without vents for our customers at airports who may need one.”
Delta’s US counterparts of United Airlines, American Airlines, and Southwest Airlines have also tightened up their rules this month. It’s not only carriers that are upping their stances on masks. Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley is hoping that the Maintaining Important Distance During Lengthy Epidemics (MIDDLE) Act of 2020 will make face masks and middle seat blocking mandatory.
Extra caution needed
All in all, during this sensitive time, it makes sense that airlines are enforcing a no-nonsense approach when it comes to face masks. Therefore, it’s highly advisable that if anyone can’t wear one for medical reasons, to contact their airline beforehand. Moreover, if certain carriers can’t make any exceptions, travelers should seek alternative arrangements.
What are your thoughts about Delta turning its flight around due to two passengers not wearing masks? Do you feel that this was a good move by the airline? Let us know what you think of the situation in the comment section.