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United Airlines Places Stricter Consequences on Face Covering Policy

A United plane is parked at LAX airport in Los Angeles, California. (Photo: Diaa Bekheet)

United Airlines announced that any passengers who do not comply with its mandatory face covering policy will be placed on an internal travel restriction list, starting Thursday.

In May, the airline started requiring all on-board employees and customers to wear face masks. Now customers who refuse to wear a face mask will be placed on the internal travel restriction list after a series of steps.

If a flight attendant is informed of a passenger not wearing a face covering, and does not qualify for an exception, the attendant will “proactively inform” the passenger of the face covering requirement, United said.

The flight attendant will then offer the passenger a face mask. If the customer continues to be non-compliant, the attendant will file a report and final decisions regarding the customer’s future flight benefits will occur after the plane has reached its destination and the incident is investigated by the security team.

United Airline’s stricter face mask policy comes with a simultaneous announcement from Airlines for America (A4A), the trade organization representing leading U.S. airlines.

“[A4A’s] member carriers will be vigorously enforcing face covering policies,” the organization said.

A4A further specified that “Each carrier will determine the appropriate consequences for passengers who are found to be in noncompliance of the airline’s face covering policy.”

Member carriers in A4A include United Airlines, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways and Southwest Airlines.

United Airlines’ new policy will be in effect for at least 60 days starting June 18.