Skip to content

Delta CEO: Wearing masks is about 'respect,' says flyers who refuse will be barred

June 17, 2020
4 min read
Delta CEO: Wearing masks is about 'respect,' says flyers who refuse will be barred
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Delta Air Lines is joining its peers in threatening to bar any travelers who do not wear a mask onboard its airplanes as a precaution from the coronavirus pandemic.

Travelers will not be allowed to board a Delta flight without a mask and, if they refuse to wear one onboard, will be added to a "no-fly list" at the airline, Delta CEO Ed Bastian told staff at a virtual town hall on Wednesday that was viewed by TPG.

“It’s respect for others, and if you don’t have respect for others you don’t belong on a Delta property," he said.

Sign up for the free daily TPG newsletter for more airline news!

Delta joins American Airlines and United Airlines in threatening to bar travelers from flying if they do not wear a mask onboard. Southwest Airlines has said that it will deny boarding to any flyer who tries to board a plane without a mask.

The moves are part of a stepped-up campaign led by trade group Airlines for America (A4A) to enforce mask-wearing on flights. It comes the number of flyers has steadily climbed even as the first wave of COVID-19 infections continue to spread throughout the U.S.

“U.S. airlines are very serious about requiring face coverings on their flights," A4A president and CEO Nicholas Calio said in a statement on June 15. “Face coverings are one of several public health measures recommended by the [Centers for Disease Control] as an important layer of protection for passengers and customer-facing employees.”

Related: United and American may ban passengers who don’t wear masks

In the town hall, Bastian laid out to staff how it will enforce mask rules. The airline will offer a mask to anyone boarding a flight that does not have one but will deny them boarding if they decline to put it on. In addition, Delta will not divert a flight if a passenger declines to wear one onboard but will bar them from future travel on the carrier.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Anecdotally, other airlines — including Southwest — have returned flights that have begun to taxi but have not yet taken off to the gate to remove passengers for failing to comply with mask rules.

A recent video posted on Twitter by The New York Times reporter Astead Herndon overhears an American Airlines flight attendant asking an unmasked traveler for medical proof they cannot wear one or to deplane. The traveler, heard in the video saying he did not want to wear a mask, eventually disembarked, according to Herndon's account of the event on Twitter.

Related: Which US airlines are blocking middle seats and requiring masks?

Not every airline around the world is adhering to recommended coronavirus safety precautions. Garuda Indonesia's CEO Irfan Setiaputra has reportedly told staff that cabin crew will only wear face shields instead of masks, a response to customer complaints that passengers couldn't see attendants' smiles and other facial expressions.

On the flip side, Qatar Airways flight attendants are wearing full protective gear onboard to protect them from COVID-19.

“Doctors tell me if we had 80% mask compliance throughout the country, we’d have the virus contained," said Bastian on Wednesday.

Related: Delta to keep social distancing onboard until customer ‘confidence’ returns

Featured image by AFP via Getty Images

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 10X points
10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

80,000 bonus points
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

$550

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more