Airlines are enforcing their individual mask mandates in the absence of any government mandates and several flights have been turned around in the last couple of weeks because passengers refused to wear them. The latest was a Delta flight that returned to Detroit Metro because two passengers “were non-compliant with crew instructions.” The rest of the passengers eventually got to Atlanta. American and Spirit have also removed passengers at the ramp.
Some passengers are trying to plead that they have medical conditions that make masks unhealthy for them but Delta is calling that bluff. Anyone who makes the claim will have a video chat with a doctor who will evaluate their condition. Meanwhile, after pleas from the airlines, pilots and flight attendants for the FAA, or some other federal agency to make masks mandatory have been ignored, now consumer groups are calling for that leadership. The American Society of Travel Advisors has written FAA Administrator Steve Dickson urging the blanket declaration, saying the rule would help stabilize what little travel industry is left and help it rebuild for the post-pandemic world. “While the airlines have stepped up in the absence of a clear federal mandate, this inconsistency is holding back travel’s recovery,” ASTA CEO Zane Kerby said in news release. To date, Dickson has said he’ll leave that call to the Centers for Disease Control.