Alaska Airlines is tightening its face-covering requirements onboard its aircraft, which went into operation today (7th August).
The airline announced that all passengers over the age of 2 years old must wear a cloth mask or face covering (which covers their nose and mouth) at all times when at the airport or onboard Alaska aircraft.
What’s different this time that there are no exceptions at all to this rule.
If a passenger is unwilling or unable to wear a mask for any reason while at the airport, they will not be permitted to travel. If a passenger refuses to wear a mask after boarding their flight, they will be suspended from future travel.
What’s an acceptable face covering?
According to the airline, these are acceptable and non-acceptable face coverings:
Acceptable face coverings:
- Face coverings must be made from a cloth or other barrier material that prevents the discharge and release of respiratory droplets from a person’s nose or mouth.
Unacceptable face coverings:
- Face coverings with direct exhaust valves.
- Face coverings that do not cover a guest’s nose and mouth.
- Face shields without masks.
The airline will continue to use its “Yellow Card” warning system, which was introduced in June. The “final notice” is handed to a passenger who repeatedly disregards the requirement to wear a mask while onboard.
Going forward, if a passenger chooses not to comply after receiving the yellow card, his or her travel with Alaska Airlines will be suspended immediately upon landing. Any remaining portion of the guest’s itinerary will be cancelled – including connecting or return flights – along with any future trips the guest has booked. The guest will be provided with a full refund for any unused travel and will be responsible for making their own travel arrangements from that point.
The airline notes that since the mask policy went live in May, the overwhelming majority of guests have respected the requirement – and many guests have raised concerns about the few who do not. For guests who forget their mask, Alaska will have them available upon request, in addition to providing individual hand-sanitizer wipes on board.
Max Tidwell, Alaska Airlines’s vice president of safety and security said:
“We all need to look out for each other during this health emergency, and the best way we can do that – and prevent the spread of the virus – is to simply wear a mask or face covering when we’re around each other,”
Safety remains priority number one for Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air. Our tougher policy shows how important this issue is to us and our guests. If you don’t wear a mask, you won’t be flying with us.”
No mask, no travel, no exceptions
Its a very tough line – especially for those with a valid condition for not wearing masks. However, it seems to police that is hard to impossible for the Alaska Airlines, hence why it has s gone down the line of “No mask, no travel, no exceptions” route.
For airlines trying to make space onboard an aircraft as “safe” as possible, measures like this are a way of convincing the travelling public that they are a safer option.
Of course. Masks need to be taken off to eat and drink…
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