Delta CEO Ed Bastian told employees on Thursday that the airline has added about 240 flyers who refused to wear a mask onboard to its internal “do not fly” list.
But whether airlines would actually follow through with that threat was another question. And Delta has shown it won’t shy away from doing so, even banning the famous ex-Navy SEAL who claims to have killed Osama bin Laden after the SEAL took a maskless selfie onboard a Delta flight.
In a memo to employees on Thursday, Bastian said the airline has banned 240 flyers total. Those bans are expected to last as long as the airline’s mask requirements are in effect.
“Although rare, we continue to put passengers who refuse to follow the required face-covering rules on our no-fly list. To date, we have about 240 people on that list,” he wrote.
That number has doubled in the last month alone. In late July, Bastian told The Today Show in an interview last month that Delta had banned more than 100 flyers.
Delta and other airlines have suggested that those bans will last until the mask requirements are lifted. And with more states and even individual airports making masks mandatory, that likely won’t be anytime soon.
But Bastian is right that Delta has stepped up its mask enforcement even farther. Starting last month, Delta required anyone claiming a health condition prevents them from wearing a mask to complete a virtual consultation with an airline physician to get approval. Travelers who make false claims to avoid wearing a mask may get banned, too.
Delta isn’t alone in strengthening its mask policies lately. United expanded its face mask requirements beyond the plane. The Chicago-based airline will begin requiring customers to mask up in many areas of the airport, including check-in kiosks, baggage drops, baggage claims, United clubs, and more.
Airlines aren’t messing around when it comes to wearing masks onboard. Don’t test them: Just wear a mask,
Lead photo courtesy of Delta