18 MAY 2020
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The airlines of the United States are not in unison regarding the wearing of facemasks.
Southwest Airlines has told flight crews not to stop passengers from boarding if they refuse to wear a mask according to an internal memo obtained by CNN.
“We will not deny boarding solely based on a customers’ refusal to wear a face covering,” the memo read.
American Airlines policy says customers “maybe denied boarding” for not wearing a mask.
United’s rules allows boarding in most cases but the policy notes “there may be an isolated situation where a customer maybe denied board as a last resort.”
Jet Blue’s language appears to be most restrictive with its memo saying “customers who refuse to comply with our policy will be denied boarding.”
Southwest Airlines wants flight attendants to inform customers but not enforce it according to the airline’s official channel.
“Empathy and respect” is what Southwest is telling its flight attendants to use.
“Although Southwest is not denying boarding based solely on a customer not wearing a mask we are providing masks and strongly encouraging customers comply with respect for the wellbeing of other customers and our employees during these unprecedented times,” it said in a statement.
BTN’s message is to check with your airline’s web page. The US Department of Transportation seems to have a ‘head in the sand’ attitude to the whole situation and “continues to monitor the ongoing impacts of the Covid-19 public health emergency on the commercial aviation industry.”
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