American Airlines will also ban passengers who don’t follow mask policy

Jul 23, 2020

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No mask, no service. If you plan to fly on an American Airlines jet during the pandemic, you’d better bring your mask — otherwise, you may be banned from future travel on the airline.

American became the latest carrier to expand its face-covering requirement during the coronavirus pandemic. The airline will require all customers over the age of two to wear face coverings at airports and onboard, effective July 29. According to American, passengers must wear a face mask at “all areas of the airports at which American operates,” which includes terminals and Admirals Club lounges.

Face coverings may be removed at the airport or onboard the plane if you are eating or drinking. American says that passengers who don’t comply with the policy may be barred from future travel for the duration of the mask requirement.

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“Customers and team members have been clear that they feel more safe when everyone is wearing a face covering,” Alison Taylor, Chief Customer Officer of American Airlines, said in a statement. “In light of this important feedback, we are expanding and enhancing our requirements onboard and at airports.”

The requirement comes just a day before American announced a second-quarter net loss of $2.1 billion as travel slowed to a trickle during the pandemic. American CEO Doug Parker called the period “one of the most challenging quarters” in the airline’s history.

Every major U.S. airline now has a face-covering requirement, though some joined the party later than others. Delta Air Lines, for instance, began requiring face masks at check-in, boarding and SkyClub lounges in May.

It’s unclear if American has already banned passengers from its jets like other U.S. airlines. United also has a similar mask policy and has publicly stated that it would ban any non-compliant passengers. And just yesterday, we reported that Delta had already banned over 100 passengers for not following its mask policy.

Related: Delta has banned more than 100 passengers for not wearing a mask

Like American, Delta requires passengers to wear masks or appropriate face coverings throughout the end-to-end travel journey. This includes check-in, SkyClubs and baggage claim, in addition to the flight itself.

Earlier this week, Delta introduced a new virtual screening process for those who maintain that they cannot wear a mask. These screenings are done either at check-in or the gate by Delta’s medical professionals. If they conclude you don’t have a valid health reason not to wear a mask, you’ll be denied boarding. If they find you do have a legitimate reason, then you can fly without a face covering.

Featured photo courtesy of Getty Images




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