U.S. airlines vow to more strictly enforce face mask wearing

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Airline passenger mask
Photo Credit: TravnikovStudio/Shutterstock

The seven airlines that comprise the trade group Airlines for America (A4A) will step up enforcement of their mandatory mask policies and might even revoke flying privileges for offenders. 

All mainline U.S. carriers except Allegiant implemented mandatory mask policies in May, however the policies proved to be toothless on many airlines.

After announcing the mask rules, major carriers American, United, Delta also quickly directed flight attendants not to enforce the policies should individuals remove their face covering once the flight was boarded. Southwest took an even more hands-off approach, instructing flight attendants to be lenient during the boarding process as well. 

A notable exception was Frontier, which has been vocal in saying that flight attendants are under instruction to enforce its mask requirement throughout its flights. 

Larger carriers now say they will do the same. 

In a Monday statement, A4A said that Alaska Airlines, American, Delta, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Southwest and United will “vigorously enforce face-covering policies.” 

“Each carrier will determine the appropriate consequences for passengers who are found to be in noncompliance of the airline’s face covering policy up to and including suspension of flying privileges on that airline,” the trade group said. 

A4A also said each airline will make an onboard announcement of its specific mask requirements and of the consequences for non-compliance.

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