Although airlines have proposed the use of face coverings on board of flights by both passengers and crew members, United Airlines has now taken the measure a step further: travelers refusing to wear masks will be temporarily banned from flying.
Beginning June 18, the carrier will place anyone unwilling to comply with the requirement on a no-fly list. The duration of the ban has yet to be determined.
"Every reputable institution says wearing a mask is one of the most effective things people can do to protect others from contracting COVID-19, especially in places like an aircraft where social distancing is a challenge,” said Toby Enqvist, the chief customer officer at United, in an official statement.
Passengers not donning the covering will initially be asked to wear a mask and crew members will have some on hand to distribute. If refusing to follow instructions, said passenger will be reported and undergo a "formal review process" before officially being banned. Folks with medical conditions that prevent them from covering their faces will be exempt from the requirement.
Although other U.S.-based airlines—including Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways and Southwest Airlines—have also announced that they will take action against those refusing to follow their mask-wearing policies, none of them have committed to as sweeping and as official measures as United has.
For what it's worth, here's what we think: let's help each other out and be as cautious as possible—both on and off airplanes.
Most popular on Time Out
- The Dominican Republic will reopen for tourists in July
- US-based airlines will resume operating international flights as early as next month
- Online trivia games to play remotely
- Thousands are participating in global bake sale bakers against racism
- Are these new plane seat dividers the solution to travel?