Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Wear your face mask, or Delta will turn the plane around

Published Jul 27th, 2020 7:06PM EDT
Delta Airlines
Image: AP Photo/David Zalubowski
  • Delta Airlines, like most every air carrier now, has a requirement that passengers must wear a face mask at all times during their journey.
  • For passengers who refuse to comply with that face mask rule, the airline has been adding those passengers to an internal no-fly list. But that’s not the only extreme step the carrier has taken.
  • On a recent flight from Detroit to Atlanta, a Delta pilot actually turned around and landed because two passengers wouldn’t wear a face mask.

Delta Airlines keeps finding new ways to prove it’s not playing around when it comes to enforcing rules meant to not only keep fliers safe amid the coronavirus pandemic. But these rules are also about conveying the perception of flight safety, so that fliers themselves are not only protected but future and prospective fliers also take note and feel safe enough to book a flight down the line.

We’ve already noted how Delta is among the carriers now requiring everyone on flights, staff and passengers included, to wear face masks at all times. Face masks, of course, are one of the few tools we have to curb the spread of the coronavirus, along with putting as much physical distance as possible between people whose health you can’t vouch for — which, incidentally, is something else Delta is trying to do by flying its planes at a reduced capacity through at least the end of September.

As we’ve already noted, Delta’s face mask requirement also includes the stipulation that if you refuse to comply, you can be put on a kind of no-fly list for an indefinite period of time with the carrier. That’s something Delta has already added more than 100 people to, believe it or not. And it’s not even the only somewhat extreme measure the airline is taking along these lines.

According to local news reports, a Delta pilot actually took the extraordinary step in recent days of turning a flight around and landing in order to force the compliance of two passengers who refused to put a face mask on. The flight was on its way from Detroit to Atlanta, and it briefly returned to Detroit because of two non-compliant passengers.

Similar events have taken place on other airlines recently, such as a woman being kicked off of an American Airlines flight in recent days for refusing to wear a mask, and a similar incident happening on Spirit Airlines earlier this month.

Along these same lines, Delta in recent days has also added another component to its new coronavirus-inspired safety regimen. All passengers were already required to wear a mask at all times during their flight, except when meals are served, and if guests claim to have a medical reason of some sort that prevents them from being able to wear a mask, they’re supposed to get that cleared with Delta before getting on their flight. It’s a new “Clearance-to-Fly” interview process that these guests are required to now undergo, with encouragement from the airline to not fly at all if they have a condition of this kind. Taken together, these are definitely the kinds of things that will make me choose Delta for my next flight once I feel safe enough to fly again.

Andy Meek
Andy Meek Trending News Reporter

Andy Meek is a reporter who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming. Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.