How many passengers have US airlines banned for not wearing masks?

Jan 11, 2021

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Delta calls it a “no-fly list.” At Frontier, it’s a “Prevent Departure list.”

No matter what it’s called, you don’t want your name to appear — travelers who end up there will have to find another carrier to fly, at least for the time being.

Historically, airlines have banned customers for a handful of reasons, from obnoxious behavior to noncompliance with crew member instructions. Recently, however, U.S. carriers have added another misdeed to the list: a disregard for face-covering policies, created to help keep other passengers and airline employees safe.

Related: Here’s what might land you on a government or airline no-fly list

While U.S. airlines rolled out face mask policies earlier during the pandemic, it wasn’t clear how strictly they were being enforced. Delta put the kibosh on any speculation there, though, with a July announcement that over 100 passengers had landed themselves a spot on the carrier’s naughty list.

Since then, U.S. carriers have continued to ban passengers who refuse to wear masks onboard, and at designated airline-managed areas of the airport, such as check-in counters and lounges.

Face masks are available to purchase from the TPG Store.

Just how many passenger bans are we talking? Several airlines were willing to share their latest stats with TPG, including:

  • Alaska: 302
  • Allegiant: 15
  • Delta: 700+
  • Frontier: 500+
  • Hawaiian: 56
  • JetBlue: 114
  • Spirit: 432
  • United: 615

Based on that breakdown, we’re at well over 2,000, among U.S.-based airlines sharing the latest figures with TPG. American and Southwest are unable to confirm the number of customers they’ve banned, however, and Sun Country did not immediately respond to TPG’s request. With those carriers factored in, the grand total could be more than 3,000.

Related: Delta is now the only US airline blocking all middle seats

For travelers, there’s really no excuse not to comply. All U.S. airlines now require a face covering of some sort, and many are even happy to provide a mask at check-in. Be sure to check out this post for a detailed look at what to expect at the airport, and onboard.

Featured photo courtesy of JetBlue.

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