The three largest U.S. airlines have told flight attendants not to force passengers to wear masks, but to encourage them to do so, Reuters reported. American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United told Reuters they had informed employees that they could refuse boarding at the gate to anyone who did not wear a mask and provide them to passengers who did not.
But after passengers boarded the plane, it became more difficult to implement the policy.
According to a message sent by American Airlines to its pilots, as seen by Reuters, explaining the policy, “once you board a plane and leave the gate, the facial masking policy becomes more lenient.” In facial masking policy, the role of a flight attendant is to communicate, not to execute. “
“The bottom line for pilots is that on your plane, passengers who follow other rules other than wearing masks are not considered destructive enough to trigger a threat level 1 response. “The so-called “threat level 1” refers to the circumstances in which the passenger intentionally causes some interference that may lead to the flight diversion.
American Airlines also told flight attendants, “If passengers choose to wear a mask for other reasons, encourage them to comply, but do not upgrade further.” “Similarly, if a passenger is dissatisfied because another passenger is not wearing a mask, use situational awareness to alleviate the situation,”
United and Delta said they have similar policies.
All three airlines offer certain exemptions for young children or people with medical conditions or disabilities when they are eating or drinking.