United Airlines announced Monday that it will strengthen mandatory mask policies to further hinder the spread of COVID-19 and help continue to keep passengers and crew safe, according to a news release.
The company said that while the majority of their passengers are complying with the mandatory policy, starting on June 18, any passenger that does not comply when onboard a United flight will be placed on an internal travel restriction list.
Customers on the list will lose their travel privileges on United for a duration of time to be determined pending a comprehensive incident review, the news release states.
“We have been requiring our customers to wear masks onboard United aircraft since May 4 and we have been pleased that the overwhelming majority of passengers readily comply with our policy. Today’s announcement is an unmistakable signal that we’re prepared to take serious steps, if necessary, to protect our customers and crew,” United’s Chief Customer Officer, Toby Enqvist said.
Under the new policy, if flight attendants notice or are informed of a customer onboard who is not wearing a face covering and that passenger does not fall within an exception, flight attendants are to notify the customer of the airline’s policies.
They will also offer a mask, if needed.
“If the customer continues to be non-compliant, flight attendants will do their best to de-escalate the situation, again inform the customer of United’s policy, and provide the passenger with an In-Flight Mask policy reminder card,” the statement reads.
“If a customer continues to not comply, the flight attendant will file a report of the incident, which will initiate a formal review process. Any final decision or actions regarding a customer’s future flight benefits will not occur onboard but instead take place after the flight has reached its destination and the security team has investigated the incident,” according to United’s stricter policy.
“U.S. airlines are very serious about requiring face coverings on their flights. Carriers are stepping up enforcement of face coverings and implementing substantial consequences for those who do not comply with the rules,” said A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio.