United Airlines may ban travelers who do not wear masks at the airport from Friday.
The Chicago-based airline is expanding its mandatory mask policy to the more than 360 airports at which the airline operates worldwide, the company said on Wednesday.
“If customers refuse to comply, they may be refused travel and banned from flying United at least while the mask requirement is in place,” airline officials wrote in a press release.
According to the airline, passengers must wear masks at the airline’s customer service counters and kiosks, at the gates, at club locations, and in the baggage claim areas.
“The most important thing any of us can do to slow the spread of the coronavirus is to simply wear a mask when we’re around other people,” said Scott Kirby, United’s chief executive officer, in a statement.
“A mask is about protecting the safety of others, and I’m proud of the aggressive and proactive steps United Airlines has taken to ensure people are wearing a face covering in the airports where we operate and onboard the aircraft we fly.”
- If United passengers do not wear masks in the United areas of the airport, an employee will issue verbal warnings and offer free masks.
- Passengers who do not abide by this will receive a reminder card with the guidelines.
- Thereafter, passengers who do not yet comply with the regulations may be denied the trip and prohibited from flying with United as long as the mask requirement exists.
- United will post signs to the updated guidelines at all airports as well as online and within the United app.
- The updated policy will also be included in the airline’s ready-to-fly checklist at check-in.
The only exceptions are for children under the age of two.
“If a passenger believes that there are extraordinary circumstances that warrant an exception, they should contact United or speak to a representative at the airport,” officials said.
When flying, United passengers must wear face masks for the duration of the flight, except when eating or drinking.
Passengers who refuse to wear masks during the flight can also be prohibited from flying, as long as the mask requirement exists, according to the airline.
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