United may ban passengers for not wearing a mask in the airport
Not wearing a mask in the airport? Beginning Friday, July 24, you could be banned from flying United, according to the airline's latest mask mandate expansion. Passengers under the age of two are exempt from the requirement — anyone older will only be permitted to travel without a mask if the airline has granted them an exception prior to their flight.
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Already in place for all United Airlines flights, the expanded mask mandate applies to all airports where United operates — some 360 around the world. It will be enforced at check-in counters and kiosks, lounges, baggage claim, departure gates and other airport areas.
United was the first U.S. airline to require masks for employees, and, recently, CEO Scott Kirby has been working to build awareness around the passenger mandate explaining, "The most important thing any of us can do to slow the spread of the coronavirus is to simply wear a mask when we’re around other people."
According to the airline, "United will post signage throughout the airport to reinforce this new policy and employees will first give a customer a verbal reminder and offer a free mask to any customer who is not wearing one. If the customer refuses to comply, United employees will offer the customer a reminder card that outlines the company’s face covering policy. Continued non-compliance could result in a refusal to transport and the customer could also be banned from flying United at a minimum while the mask requirement is in place."
Masks or approved face coverings are now required on all U.S. airlines. Customers who don't already have a mask may be able to request one at the airport, depending on which airline they're flying. Several airlines have already committed to banning passengers who don't comply, and Delta now requires approval from an airline doctor before a waiver will be issued.
Face covering requirements have gotten a recent boost throughout the travel industry as well, with Disney World now eliminating a mask "loophole" and several major chains adding mask requirements at member hotels.