Alaska Airlines is taking a new approach to passengers who are not willing to wear a mask while flying. The airline announced a new initiative on Friday, August 7, which will require all guests who are at least 2 years old. But Alaska is going a step beyond their passengers wearing face coverings — they are also going to ban anyone from future travel if they refuse to follow the rules.
“We all need to look out for each other during this health emergency, and the best way we can do that – and prevent the spread of the virus – is to simply wear a mask or face covering when we’re around each other,” said Max Tidwell, Alaska Airlines’ vice president of safety and security. “Safety remains priority number one for Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air. Our tougher policy shows how important this issue is to us and our guests. If you don’t wear a mask, you won’t be flying with us.”
Since June, Alaska Airlines’ flight attendants have been allowed to hand a “yellow card” to any passengers who repeatedly refuse to wear a mask while on a flight. According to Alaska, “Going forward, if a guest chooses not to comply after receiving the yellow card, his or her travel with Alaska will be suspended immediately upon landing. Any remaining portion of the guest’s itinerary will be canceled – including connecting or return flights – along with any future trips the guest has booked.” Alaska Airlines will be providing those passengers with full refunds on any legs not traveled, but they will be responsible for making their own travel arrangements from that point.
Alaska Airlines is providing masks to all passengers who forget their mask, as well as providing hand sanitizer wipes on board.