NEW YORK – Delta has banned more than 450 passengers from flying who refused to wear a mask.
In a new memo obtained by FOX 5 NY, the Atlanta-based airline confirmed the information.
“As of this week, we’ve added 460 people to our no-fly list for refusing to comply with our mask requirement,” Delta CEO Ed Bastian stated in a letter to employees.
The new numbers are roughly 200 more than the airline’s reported amount in August of people banned since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Delta Air Lines had placed more than 240 people on a “no-fly list” in August for failing to comply with its mandatory mask policy.
“Although rare, we continue to put passengers who refuse to follow the required face-covering rules on our no-fly list,” Bastian said in an August memo.
There is currently no federal mandate on masks in airports or on airplanes, forcing each airline to implement its own regulations.
Delta customers and employees are required to wear a face mask or appropriate cloth face covering over their nose and mouth throughout their travel, aligning with best practice guidelines from the CDC, according to the company’s website.
“As we all work toward the recovery, it’s vital that we continue to stay focused on the drive to provide the safest, cleanest airports, aircraft and workspaces possible,” Bastian said.
Face coverings are required across all Delta touchpoints, including the lobby check-in, Delta Sky Clubs, boarding gate areas, jet bridges, and onboard the aircraft, with the exemption of limited time while eating and drinking.
Passengers on major U.S. airlines are required to check a box that confirms they will follow the airline’s mask rules, and airline gate agents can deny boarding to anyone not wearing a mask prior to a flight, Reuters reported.
Delta said they continue to find ways to keep passengers safe aboard flights.
“We also are rolling out a new program, developed in partnership with our expert advisors at the Mayo Clinic, to proactively identify U.S. counties currently experiencing a higher risk of COVID-19 spread,” Bastian said. “On a weekly basis going forward, we plan to notify Delta people living in these “high risk” counties via targeted email so they can take appropriate precautions to protect themselves and their families.”
In August, a Delta flight departing from Detroit had to turn around when customers refused to wear face masks amid the coronavirus pandemic.