Alaska Airlines announces heightened mask enforcement

Alaska Airlines has made this announcement:

For the safety and health of everyone on board its flights, Alaska Airlines has announced on June 30 that its flight attendants will be able to issue a final notice to any guest who repeatedly refuses to wear a mask or face covering.

With that warning – in the form of a yellow card handed to them – the guest’s travel will be reviewed and could be suspended for a period. It’s a decision that would not be made lightly.

The airline also made this announcement on its blog:

We take the use of masks and face coverings very seriously, like we do for any safety, health and well-being issue for our guests and employees.

Overwhelmingly, those who fly with us understand and appreciate the importance of wearing masks and face coverings during this time of COVID-19. We also rely heavily on our guests to do the right thing for the greater good of everyone onboard our flights.

Our flight crews encounter moments when some travelers disregard or disobey our mask requirement. It creates tension and anxiety for many of our passengers who do have their face coverings on. So, a change is needed.

Starting in early July, our flight attendants will be empowered to issue a final notice to any guest who repeatedly refuses to wear a mask or face covering on board our aircraft. With that warning – in the form of a yellow card handed to them – the guest’s travel with us will be reviewed and could be suspended for a period. That would be a decision we do not take lightly. By working together, we do more for the common good.

“We take pride in our excellent customer service, a main reason so many of our guests enjoy flying with us. That stays the same,” said Ben Minicucci, Alaska’s president. “We’re counting on both our guests and employees to be considerate of one another to wear face coverings and contribute to our constant effort to keep everyone healthy and safe.”

We understand not everyone is able to wear a face covering when traveling. A few exceptions include children under age 2; anyone with a medical issue that creates trouble breathing; anyone who cannot remove a mask without assistance; or anyone with a disability that prevents wearing a mask. (It’s okay if the mask is temporarily adjusted to eat and drink while in your seat.)

Another reminder of how seriously we take our mask enforcement policy begins on June 30. All of our guests will be asked during check-in to sign off on a required health agreement to acknowledge and attest to their willingness to adhere to the mask policy.

For guests who might forget their own mask, we will have them available upon request. Starting in July, we’ll also provide individual hand-sanitizer wipes on board.

We’ve recently made significant investments in enhanced cleaning procedures, hospital-grade air filtration systems and other approaches to ensure your safety throughout the travel journey.

We realize a piece of fabric across your nose and mouth is probably not your ideal way to travel. But if we all take that small step while flying, we’ll be better off in the long run.

Video: