Delta Flight Delayed Over Passenger Refusing To Wear A Mask


A Delta Airlines service that was leaving Detroit to head for Los Angeles returned to the gate yesterday evening. The turnaround happened because a passenger refused to wear a face mask.

Delta A321
The Airbus A321 took off later than expected. Photo: Delta Air Lines

Holding up the flight

Over the last few months, Delta Air Lines has been clear about its mask policy amid the global health crisis. It has a zero-tolerance stance when it comes to the wearing of face coverings. Ultimately, hundreds of its customers have already been banned for refusing to follow the rules.

Nonetheless, despite the no-nonsense approach, there are still incidents occurring that are causing disruptions to services. According to Frequent Business Traveller, this weekend, Delta Flight 201 arrived at its destination 28 minutes later than scheduled.

The aircraft was supposed to depart Detroit Metro Wayne County Airport at 20:15. However, it was delayed by 47 minutes. Subsequently, the plane arrived at Los Angeles International at 22:31. All times are local.

American and Delta Planes at LAX
The passengers eventually made it to LAX. Photo: Getty Images

Not complying with the policy

Simple Flying reached out to Delta for comment on the reason why there was a delay to the flight. A spokesperson for the carrier told us the following:

“We apologize to customers on flight 201 from DTW to LAX that returned to the gate when a customer did not comply with Delta’s mask-wearing requirement onboard. After a short delay, the flight departed to Los Angeles.”

The Atlanta-based outfit has been vocal about its mask policy throughout the summer. Altogether, all passengers over the age of two and staff members are required to wear a face mask or appropriate cloth face covering over their nose and mouth throughout their journey with the airline. The coverings can, however, be removed while eating or drinking.

Delta Airlines Highlights Its Covid Safety Measures At National Airport
Delta supplies passengers with masks if their own coverings are not suitable for travel. Photo: Getty Images

Additional requirements

Moreover, any mask with an exhalation valve is not approved. Those with plastic face shields can also wear them on top of a mask but not as a replacement.

Additionally, the airline also requires a virtual medical evaluation from fliers if they have a health condition that prevents them from wearing a mask. If for some reason, they can’t complete this procedure, the firm recommends that passengers should reconsider their travels.


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There have been several high profile events involving masks on Delta operations in recent weeks. Notably, the carrier banned a passenger that was part of the military mission that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden. Robert J. O’Neill tweeted a photo of him not wearing a mask while on the airline’s aircraft.

Nonetheless, it seems like Delta has been consistently strict with its mask policy across the board. It’s likely to be a busy few months ahead for the operator’s staff members who have to make sure passengers follow the company’s requests.

What are your thoughts about this mask incident on one of Delta’s services this weekend? What do you make of airline mask policies in the current climate? Let us know what you think of the situation in the comment section.