American, United, and Delta all announced Thursday that they would lift the bans that they had imposed on flights if masks were no longer optional.
Do you remember all the thousands of passengers airlines banned from wearing face masks on flights? Now the airlines want them back — or at least, most of them.
Leaders of unions representing flight attendants are responding with outrage.
American, United, Delta and Delta indicated Thursday that the bans that were imposed on Thursday regarding masks not being allowed on flights will be lifted.
“We have talked to them individually,” United CEO Scott Kirby told NBC. “Many of them assure us that now that the mask mandate is off, everything is going to be fine, and I trust that the vast majority of them will.”
American Airlines Chief Government Affairs Officer Nate Gatten told reporters that “in most cases,” people who were banned over masks will be allowed back, but that won’t extend to the worst offenders.
“In cases where an incident may have started with face mask non-compliance and escalated into anything involving something more serious — certainly an assault on one of our team members or customers — those passengers … will never be allowed to travel with us again,” Gatten said.
Morgan Durrant, a spokesperson for Delta Air Lines, stated that the airline will reinstate flying privileges following a case by case review and customer understanding of expected behavior.
“Any further disregard for the policies that keep us all safe will result in placement on Delta’s permanent no-fly list,” he said.
Alaska Airlines said this week that banned passengers won’t be welcomed back. Southwest said a judge’s ruling that struck down the federal mandate won’t change its decision to bar an undisclosed number of passengers.
Two union leaders representing flight attendants blasted the airlines that are trying to return banned passengers.