As the summer season kicks into high gear, airlines have gone from slashing fares hoping to lure passengers back in, to actually threatening future passengers if they don’t follow the new “mask rules.”
In a bizarre turn of events, many ruthless airlines are not only kicking passengers off the plane for refusing to wear masks…
… they are actually BANNING them from flying for an indefinite amount of time.
What makes things even more complicated is the mask policy varies from state to state – and even city to city.
So while it may be totally legal to walk around your home state in public without a mask, the game changes once you hit the airports.
And since airlines refuse to indicate when they’ll lift mask restrictions, once you make the airline hit-list, you have no idea when you’ll be allowed to fly again.
American Airlines Kicks Off The Trend
American Airlines was the first major airline to forcefully kick a passenger off their plane for not wearing a mask.
Even when the guy mentioned he had a medical condition, American Airlines still banned him from flying with them until their mask policy “changes.”
Hoping to make an example out of him, American Airlines released a threatening statement essentially warning future travelers if they don’t comply, they’re next.
ABC News reports:
“American Airlines thoroughly reviewed an incident on June 17 involving one of our customers, Brandon Straka,” the airline said in a statement. “As a result of this review, Mr. Straka will not be permitted to fly American, as he failed to comply with our stated policy and crewmember instructions.
“We expect customers who choose to fly with us to comply with these policies, and if necessary, we will deny future travel for customers who refuse to do so,” the statement continued.”
Frontier Joins The Bandwagon
In Los Angeles, another guy hoped to take a short flight to Denver and was asked to put on a mask.
When he refused, he was booted off the plane. But it isn’t like they just let the guy walk off the plane in peace.
In a dramatic display, airline officials sent in several police officers to personally escort him off the plane as if he were a criminal.
While there is no federal mandate stating people must wear masks in public, Frontier Airlines insists it is their policy and any passenger who refuses to comply will be kicked off.
Frontier is taking their safety health screenings to the next level and actually doing temperature checks for all passengers.
Delta Doubles Down
At first, Delta claimed they would request passengers to wear a mask, but not kick people off for not doing so. During an HBO interview, the CEO of Delta hinted that their airlines would be a bit more lax with the mask policy.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported:
“If you take your mask off, no, we will not forcibly remove you from the plane,” Bastian said. “If the government were to mandate it I think that would help. Because if the government mandated, then you can enforce it.”
But then, Delta seemed to change their tune and issued a statement claiming their mask policy had been in effect since May. And they take it seriously.
On their website, they warn that those who don’t comply with the mask policy risk “future flight privileges with Delta.”
And as it turns out, Delta later admitted they have banned some passengers from flying with them – but only in a “handful of cases.”
Problems For Future Travel
Airlines insist they aren’t sharing their data with each other.
So theoretically, if a passenger gets banned from flying American, they still could fly Delta and vice-versa.
But with many airlines still not flying at full capacity, and others cutting flights to major cities altogether, it could present a challenge to book a future flight.
A passenger banned from one airline might have to pay double or even triple the cost of a ticket just to get to their destination with a different airline.
And, since airlines aren’t stating how long their mask policy will last, banned passengers have no idea how long they’re excluded from flying.
It could be as little as 3 months or as long as a year.
Who knows, airlines might even make wearing masks a new and permanent part of their travel policy, just like TSA started banning liquids and making people take off their shoes post 9/11.
So if you’re looking to fly this summer – even if you despise wearing a mask – it’s just not worth the drama to get into it with the airlines.
Wear the mask.
Remember, your goal is to get to your destination with as little harassment as possible.
Getting escorted off the plane by the police and being put on a banned “hit list” for traveling will just end up making your life more difficult.
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