United Airlines, announcing its second quarter earnings this week, said that starting July 24 it will require its guests to wear masks at airports, including at service counters, kiosks, in clubs, and at gates and baggage claim areas.
According to United, passengers who refuse to comply with the carrier’s mask requirement “may be refused travel and banned from flying United as least while the mask requirement is in place.” Those who have “extraordinary circumstances” that warrant an exception, should contact United or speak to a representative at the airport.
The policy, which includes the requirement that passengers wear masks throughout their journey onboard, too, was created in cooperation with public health experts at the Cleveland Clinic.
“The most important thing any of us can do to slow the spread of coronavirus is to simply wear a mask when we’re around other people,” United CEO Scott Kirby said. “A mask is about protecting the safety of others, and I’m proud of the aggressive and proactive steps United has taken to ensure people are wearing a face covering in the airports where we operate and onboard the aircraft we fly.”
Aside from notices when someone books a ticket, United will also notify passengers of the policy with signage in terminal and gate areas.
United isn’t the only airline to recently announce that it would be cracking down on mask policy violators—Delta last week said that it was also enforcing its mask policy to the extent that those who refuse to comply may be banned from flying.
“They’re important not just on air travel, they’re important in any kind of interaction around the public,” Ed Bastian said last week. “On Delta, we are enforcing masks. You cannot board an airplane on Delta unless you have a mask on and if you get on the plane and decide that you’re not going to wear the mask we ask you kindly to put it back on,” he added.
“If you insist upon not wearing the mask, we’re going to insist on you not traveling on Delta in the future.”