US airlines tell flight attendants NOT to force passengers to wear masks on flights despite outrage over packed planes

The top three US airlines have told their flight attendants not to force passengers to comply with their new policy requiring face coverings, just encourage them to do so, according to employee policies reviewed by Reuters.
American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines have told employees that they may deny boarding at the gate to anyone not wearing a face covering, and are providing masks to passengers who do not have them, the three carriers said.
Inside the plane, enforcement becomes more difficult.
'Once on board and off the gate, the face covering policy becomes more lenient. The flight attendant's role is informational, not enforcement, with respect to the face covering policy,' American told its pilots in a message seen by Reuters explaining its policy, which went into effect on Monday.
'Once on board and off the gate, the face covering policy becomes more lenient. The flight attendant's role is informational, not enforcement, with respect to the face covering policy,' American  Airlines (aircraft pictured Monday) told its pilots in a message
'Once on board and off the gate, the face covering policy becomes more lenient. The flight attendant's role is informational, not enforcement, with respect to the face covering policy,' American  Airlines (aircraft pictured Monday) told its pilots in a message
'Bottom line to the pilots: a passenger on board your aircraft who is being compliant with the exception of wearing a face covering is NOT considered disruptive enough to trigger a Threat Level 1 response,' referring to some kind of intentional disruption by a passenger that could cause the captain to divert the flight.
American spokesman Joshua Freed said: 'American, like other US airlines, requires customers to wear a face covering while on board, and this requirement is enforced at the gate while boarding. 
'We also remind customers with announcements both during boarding and at departure.'
A United spokeswoman also said that any non-compliance by travelers would be addressed at the gate and that flight attendants had been counseled to use their 'de-escalation skills' on the aircraft and to reseat any passengers as needed. Delta said it had a similar policy.
All three airlines offer certain exemptions for young children or people with medical conditions or disabilities, and when people are eating or drinking.
'If the customer chooses not to comply for other reasons, please encourage them to comply, but do not escalate further,' American told flight attendants in a message on Friday that it provided to Reuters.

'Likewise, if a customer is frustrated by another customer's lack of face covering, please use situational awareness to de-escalate the situation,' it said.
US travel demand has fallen by about 94 per cent in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, prompting carriers to slash their flying schedules to roughly 30 per cent of normal this month. 
With fewer planes in the skies, some are flying near capacity.
Over the weekend, a cardiologist slammed United Airlines after finding himself on a packed flight out of New York on Saturday. 
Ethan Weiss took to Twitter to share a selfie from his seat on the 737 jet teeming with passengers. 
'I guess @united is relaxing their social distancing policy these days? Every seat full on this 737... This is the last time I'll be flying again for a long time,' he stated beneath the snap. 
With fewer planes in the skies, some are flying near capacity. Over the weekend, a cardiologist slammed United Airlines after finding himself on a packed flight (pictured) out of New York on Saturday
With fewer planes in the skies, some are flying near capacity. Over the weekend, a cardiologist slammed United Airlines after finding himself on a packed flight (pictured) out of New York on Saturday 
Ethan Weiss slammed the airline for filling middle seats and appearing to relax its social distancing policies
Ethan Weiss slammed the airline for filling middle seats and appearing to relax its social distancing policies
Shocking video shows full American Airlines flight out of LaGuardia
Loaded: 0%
Progress: 0%
0:00
Previous
Play
Skip
Mute
Current Time0:00
/
Duration Time0:24
Fullscreen
Need Text
In a statement, United told DailyMail.com: 'Our flight to San Francisco had an additional 25 medical professionals on board who were flying for free to volunteer their time in New York - we've provided complimentary flights for more than 1,000 doctors and nurses in the past few weeks alone.' 
In recent weeks, there have been several reports of packed planes flying across the US, causing anxiety among passengers.   
Last week, a shocking video showing a 'packed' American Airlines flight departing from New York City went viral online. 
Grandmother-to-be Krissy Maloney shared the video to Facebook, and wrote: 'We flew from NYC, the US epicenter of Corona, no one said anything to anyone about distancing or even to pull your mask from under your chin.'
'Just beware if you have to fly, the airlines are doing nothing to make anyone feel like air travel could be safe.
'If my grandson wasn't coming any time now I would not have flown and if I knew the airline was going to completely lie about taking precautions than I would have driven.'

In a statement to DailyMail.com, American Airlines refuted Maloney's claims, saying 'the flight was not full, and not every seat was occupied,' adding that their COVID-19-induced safety protocol was fully complied with on Maloney's flight.
Global airlines body IATA came out last week in favor of passengers wearing masks onboard, as debate intensifies in the US on the role that government agencies should play in mandating new safety measures for flying before a vaccine is developed.
While major US airlines have individually mandated facial coverings, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has declined to implement the requirement, and it is not clear if the agency has the authority to compel passengers to wear face masks.
In a statement on Tuesday, the FAA said it would continue to engage in discussions about protecting the health and safety of flight crews and the traveling public and was 'lending aviation expertise to federal public health agencies and airlines as they issue guidance for crew members, including health monitoring, screening protocols and aircraft cleaning'.
Several airline union groups have called for a federal mandate on measures including masks, social distancing and cleaning.
'Airlines are implementing policies on the fly with essentially no coordination or direction from the federal government,' said Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, representing nearly 50,000 flight attendants at 19 airlines.
'We need federal requirements that mitigate risk during this pandemic and put the safety of crews and the traveling public first.'
US airlines tell flight attendants NOT to force passengers to wear masks on flights despite outrage over packed planes US airlines tell flight attendants NOT to force passengers to wear masks on flights despite outrage over packed planes Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 05:38 Rating: 5

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.