Over 700 passengers have been banned from airlines across the United States for refusing to wear a face mask on flights. The figures come as, on Friday, the TSA clocked its highest passenger number since March at over 900,000 passing through its checkpoints.
While mask-wearing has mostly been accepted on flights within Europe, it remains a contentious issue within the United States. Every airline in the country has come up with a relatively strict set of rules for wearing masks that generally include no exceptions for medical or other reasons. However, not everybody is accepting of the rules.
Airlines within the United States have been banning passengers that have refused to wear masks on flights. While boarding is denied to those not already wearing masks, the ban is supposed to act as a deterrent to those removing covers once sat down.
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According to the Los Angeles Times, over 700 passengers have now been banned from airlines across the United States for refusing to play by the rules. The publications revealed that airlines have each banned the following number of passengers for non-compliance:
- Delta Air Lines – 270
- United Airlines – 150
- Spirit Airlines – 128
- Frontier Airlines – 106
- Alaska Airlines – 78
- Hawaiian Airlines – 6
- American Airlines – Unknown
- Southwest Airlines – Unknown
Record passenger numbers
As the number of passengers being banned for not wearing masks continues to climb, so does the number of passengers traveling within the United States. Indeed, the Labor Day weekend has seen the number of passengers in one day rise to almost one million, just under half of the figure on the same weekday last year.
In total, on Friday, the TSA registered 968,673 passengers. The last time that this figure was exceeded was on March 16th when the agency clocked 1,257,823 passengers. However, while the holiday weekend has seen a spike in passengers, it is possible that passenger numbers could drop back down.
How does it compare to the situation in Europe?
Over in Europe, the mask situation is a lot less of a hot issue. Generally, people are doing as they have been instructed. Indeed, in late July, Lufthansa told Simple Flying that it hadn’t seen any resistance to its mask policy, which now forms its conditions of carriage.
Unlike the US carriers, Lufthansa does allow exceptions to its mask policy. However, such exceptions must have a doctor’s note on a standard form, in addition to a negative COVID-19 test.
Traffic also seems to be broadly climbing within Europe. Earlier this week, low-cost carrier Ryanair revealed that it had flown 7 million passengers during August. This was just under half of its figure for the same month last year. The airline is currently operating around two-thirds of its pre-COVID schedule.
What do you make of the number of banned passengers? Have you flown in the US recently? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!