In an announcement sent out this past Wednesday, Delta Air Lines has stated their intentions to allow travelers who were previously banned because of mask non-compliance issues to come back and continue using the airline to fly again.
This change is slated to reinstate the flight privileges of well over 2,000 travelers, as reported by Reuters. Each individual case is being looked over and approved on a case-by-case basis, and the changes are not slated to affect a different list of almost 1000 people who had been banned for their horrid behavior, which in some cases stemmed from a masking issue.
“Any further disregard for the policies that keep us all safe will result in placement on Delta’s permanent no-fly list. Customers who demonstrated egregious behavior and are already on the permanent no-fly list remain barred from flying with Delta,” read a statement from the company.
Delta is the first among the major airlines to issue a release that it would be changing its policy in order to make mask-wearing optional in the wake of a Monday ruling from a federal judge that goes against the federal travel mask mandate from the Biden administration.
— Delta News Hub (@DeltaNewsHub) April 18, 2022
“Following the ruling of a U.S. district court judge on Monday, the Biden administration announced that the Transportation Security Administration will no longer enforce the federal mandate requiring masks in all U.S. airports and on board aircraft,” stated Delta in its Monday release.
“Effective immediately, masks are optional for all airport employees, crew members and customers inside U.S. airports and on board all aircraft domestically, as well as on most international flights,” it stated.
The total number of people that were banned from flights with Delta caused quite a stir back in August of 2020. At that time, Ed Bastian, the CEO of Delta Airline, made the claim that “well over 100 people” have been placed on a banned no-fly list for the airline because of their refusal to wear masks in transit.
“We’ve had well over 100 people that have refused to keep their mask on during the flight,” he stated to CNN.
In a Wednesday announcement, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) also claimed that it is going to double down and make its Zero Tolerance policy regarding unruly passengers a more permanent policy.
“Behaving dangerously on a plane will cost you; that’s a promise,” stated the Acting FAA Administrator Billy Nolen in a release. “Unsafe behavior simply does not fly and keeping our Zero Tolerance policy will help us continue making progress to prevent and punish this behavior.”
Despite the dropping of the mask mandate, the Depart of Justice (DOJ) has stated that it would appeal the new ruling.
“In light of today’s assessment by @CDCgov that an order requiring masking in the transportation corridor remains necessary to protect the public health, the Department has filed a notice of appeal,” claimed DOJ spokesman Anthony Coley via a tweet.
IN another statement from Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claimed that “to protect CDC’s public health authority beyond the ongoing assessment announced last week, CDC has asked DOJ to proceed with an appeal in Health Freedom Defense Fund, Inc., et al., v. Biden, et al.”
“It is CDC’s continuing assessment that at this time an order requiring masking in the indoor transportation corridor remains necessary for the public health,” concluded the agency.