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Thursday, 23 July 2020

United now requires all passengers to wear masks INSIDE airport terminals before boarding - as Delta CEO warns that those who refuse to wear face coverings 'will have to find another airline' to fly with

Passengers wishing to board a United Airlines flight will now have to wear face masks at ticket counters and in its airport lounges as well, or risk a flight ban from the carrier.
The announcement followed a similar warning made by Delta CEO Ed Bastian in an interview with the Today Show, in which he warned that any customers who insist on not wearing a face covering will be instructed to find another airline to fly with.
United, Delta and all other major U.S. carriers require passengers to wear masks during flights, however the policy has been inconsistently enforced.
United said Wednesday that it is now broadening mask requirements for passengers even before they board the plane.
‘We're really trying to close all the travel gaps,’ United CEO Scott Kirby said in an interview with CNBC. ‘If customers refuse to comply, they may be refused travel and banned from flying United at least while the mask requirement is in place.’
Passengers wishing to board a United Airlines flight will now have to wear face masks at ticket counters and in its airport lounges as well, or risk a flight ban from the carrier
Passengers wishing to board a United Airlines flight will now have to wear face masks at ticket counters and in its airport lounges as well, or risk a flight ban from the carrier
¿We're really trying to close all the travel gaps,¿ United CEO Scott Kirby said in an interview with CNBC. ¿If customers refuse to comply, they may be refused travel and banned from flying United at least while the mask requirement is in place'
‘We're really trying to close all the travel gaps,’ United CEO Scott Kirby said in an interview with CNBC. ‘If customers refuse to comply, they may be refused travel and banned from flying United at least while the mask requirement is in place'
United and Delta strengthen policy on passenger mask requirements
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The only passengers excluded from United’s policy are children under two-years-old. Any adult other passengers who believe they have an extraordinary circumstance to justify not wearing a mask are told to contact airline representatives before flying.
‘If customers refuse to comply, they may be refused travel and banned from flying United at least while the mask requirement is in place,’ according to a company statement.
The mask policy will apply at ticket counters, lounges, gates and baggage areas across the 360 airports worldwide where United operates.
Passengers can expect to see signs throughout airports reminding them of the policy, as well as verbal reminders from employees, a statement from the company said.
United workers will also offer a free mask if customers aren't wearing one – and those who don't comply will receive a reminder card detailing the policy.
An internal memo obtained by USA Today also stipulates that United staff must also closely adhere to the policy.
‘While we already require employees to wear masks in any shared spaces, including the airport terminal, break rooms and elevators, not everyone is wearing a mask when they should be. So we’ve made the policy and consequences even more clear: If an employee violates this policy, they are subject to discipline up to and including termination,’ the memo read.
Speaking to CNBC, Kirby reiterated that flying is ‘one of the safest environments that you can be in indoors’.
‘It's not like being in a restaurant or an office building or even a hospital for that matter,’ he said, citing the company’s new enhanced ventilation system aboard its aircraft that was unveiled this week.
United, Delta and all other major U.S. carriers require passengers to wear masks during flights, however the policy has been inconsistently enforced
United, Delta and all other major U.S. carriers require passengers to wear masks during flights, however the policy has been inconsistently enforced
The only passengers excluded from United¿s policy are children under two-years-old. Any adult other passengers who believe they have an extraordinary circumstance to justify not wearing a mask are told to contact airline representatives before flying
The only passengers excluded from United’s policy are children under two-years-old. Any adult other passengers who believe they have an extraordinary circumstance to justify not wearing a mask are told to contact airline representatives before flying
The mask policy will apply at ticket counters, lounges, gates and baggage areas across the 360 airports worldwide where United operates
The mask policy will apply at ticket counters, lounges, gates and baggage areas across the 360 airports worldwide where United operates
Delta also warned that any customers whom insist on not wearing a face covering will be instructed to find another airline to fly with
Delta also warned that any customers whom insist on not wearing a face covering will be instructed to find another airline to fly with
Kirby’s comments followed similar sentiments shared by Delta CEO Ed Bastian, who also reiterated his airline’s policies regarding Facemasks.
Speaking with Willie Geist, Bastian said that Delta has been ‘steadily and rather aggressively’ stepping up enforcement of it mask policy to keep its crew and passengers safe amid the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic.
‘You cannot board a Delta plane unless you have a mask on,’ he said. ‘If you board the plane and you insist on not wearing your mask, we will insist that you don't fly Delta into the future.’
Bastian says the airline has already placed more than 100 customers on its blacklist, preventing them from booking with Delta in the future.
On Monday, Delta announced that any passengers claiming to have an underlying health condition that prevents them from wearing a mask must be medically cleared at the airport or consider a different mode of transport.
‘We implemented a new procedure this week because we've had some customers indicate that they have underlying condition that makes wearing a mask dangerous for them,’ Bastian said. ‘We've told them that you may not want to fly, to reconsider whether air travel is the right form of transportation.’
Delta’s ‘Clearance-to-Fly’ procedure involves a screening conducted in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and STAT-MD, a physician service that provides consulting to airlines.
The process could take more than an hour, and anyone found to be falsifying claims of a disability or health condition to obtain a mask exemption could be suspended from flying with the airline indefinitely.

Delta CEO Bastian said that Delta has been ¿steadily and rather aggressively¿ stepping up enforcement of it mask policy to keep its crew and passengers safe amid the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic.
Delta CEO Bastian said that Delta has been ‘steadily and rather aggressively’ stepping up enforcement of it mask policy to keep its crew and passengers safe amid the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic.
On Monday, Delta announced that any passengers claiming to have an underlying health condition that prevents them from wearing a mask must be medically cleared at the airport or consider a different mode of transport.
On Monday, Delta announced that any passengers claiming to have an underlying health condition that prevents them from wearing a mask must be medically cleared at the airport or consider a different mode of transport.
A Delta Airline employee gives a face mask to a passenger during check in at the Ronald Reagan National Airport on July 22
A Delta Airline employee gives a face mask to a passenger during check in at the Ronald Reagan National Airport on July 22
A airport employee performs an aircraft disinfecting demonstration of a Delta flight
A airport employee performs an aircraft disinfecting demonstration of a Delta flight
Bastian also highlighted other safety precautions like Delta planes being regularly sanitized and electrostatically fogged. He added all flights are booked out at 60 percent capacity and middle seats are blocked off to aid social distancing.
‘The flight experience today is really positive,’ he said. ‘I know there's a lot of anxiety in the general public and even from road warriors who have been out flying for years. The first time back, there's a level of angst that they need to almost be walked through the process.’
Airlines have been one of the hardest-hit industries during the coronavirus pandemic. Air travel plummeted earlier this year, but was slowly recovering before again beginning to stall in recent weeks as infections surged around the U.S.
About 530,000 people went through security checkpoints at U.S. airports on Tuesday, the lowest number in July other than the July 4 holiday.
On Tuesday, United reported a $1.6 billion loss during the normally strong second quarter, as revenue plunged 89 percent from the same period last year.
Delta has also been haemorrhaging money during the pandemic. The company was losing $100 million a day in March and later reduced to $27 million a day in June.
‘We need demand to come back,’ Bastian said. ‘I don't know if government assistance is the answer. What we really need is a vaccine, we need some medical confidence back in consumers and to continue to restore confidence in air travel.’

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