Along with other Airlines for America (A4A) members, United Airlines have announced they are to strengthen their mandatory mask rules in order to further prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect passengers and crew.
United became the first big U.S. carrier to introduce a mask policy on May 4, requiring all crew and passengers to wear masks for the duration of their journey. However, staff were reportedly told not to be too strict in enforcing the rule in order to avoid disruptions with those refusing to comply.
This is set to change from June 18 with all passengers being who refuse to wear a face covering during the flight now being told they will face serious consequences and be placed on the airline’s “internal travel restriction list”. Those placed on the list will lose their privileges on United for a period of time that will be calculated upon a “comprehensive incident review”.
United’s Chief Customer Officer said, “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,”. He continued to state that this new enforcement illustrates just how seriously the airline is taking the health and safety of its staff and passengers.
Upon noticing a non-compliant customer, flight attendants must remind them of the policy and offer a complimentary face mask if necessary. If the passenger persists a review of the incident will take place upon landing at the final destination.
A4A, who represents U.S. carriers such as American, Delta, and Southwest, reiterated how serious airlines were about face coverings and promised “substantial consequences” for those not following the policies outlined.
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