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These Airlines Are Removing Anti-Maskers From Their Travel Ban Lists
It seems some airlines are keen to retract from past decisions by removing anti-maskers from their travel ban lists.
Anti-maskers, who refused to comply with pandemic masking requirements and as a result found themselves on travel-ban lists, have been offered the chance to fly again given the new rules.
With the mask mandate being struck down by a federal judge in the U.S., Alaska Air, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines are the three major U.S. airlines to welcome back its previously banned passengers.
Only hours after the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced it would no longer enforce the mandate, Alaska Airlines became the first to express willingness to embrace previously banned passengers who failed to comply with mask rules.
The airline’s website noted that ‘Throughout the last two years, we have relied on reporting from agents and flight attendants to ban noncompliant guests from traveling while the federal mask policy remained in effect.’
The airline noted that they will ‘continue to hold safety as [their] highest value’ and ‘some guests whose behavior was particularly egregious […] will remain banned, even after the mask policy is rescinded’.
While appearing on NBC’s Today show, Scott Kirby, United Airlines CEO, confirmed that the carrier never intended to ban those who refused to wear a mask indefinitely. He explained that those passengers were warned that, “You can’t fly United until the mask mandate is over. If you’re not going to wear a mask, you can’t fly.”
United will allow previously non-compliant, though non-violent customers, the chance to return.
Not every airline is eager to usher non-compliant passengers back onboard. While Southwest commented on the end of the mask mandate in a statement, they made no mention of the fate of past anti-maskers.
An airline spokesperson did however have this to say: “Southwest banned the passengers for unruly or disruptive behavior and those decisions are unaffected by the court’s recent ruling regarding masks,”