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Delta Air Lines kicks two passengers off a plane after refusing to mask up before take-off

Pretty much every major health organization in the world — including the WHO and CDC — have recognized protective face coverings as a key method to preventing the spread of COVID-19. However, there are still lots of people out there who refuse to mask up for — not only for the sake of their own health but that of others. Therefore, airlines, hotels, restaurants, stores, amusement parks, and even state and local governments have been forced to issue mask mandates. Delta Air Lines is one of the many companies that have adopted a “no mask, no service” policy, recently kicking two passengers off a flight prior to take-off.

A spokeswoman for the airline, Emma Kate Protis, confirmed to The Hill that Delta Air Lines flight 1227 from Detroit to Atlanta returned to the gate last week after two travelers refused to wear masks or face coverings. Apparently it all went down after the flight left the gate but prior to takeoff, and resulted in the flight’s delay. Both passengers were removed from the flight.

The move was hailed on social media, with many applauding the airline for enforcing their rules. In recent weeks, other companies — including Walmart, Home Depot, and CVS — have come under fire for having similar mask rules but have publicly admitted there’s not much they can do to enforce it.

On the Delta website, their rules are firmly stated that “customers and employees are required to wear a face mask, or appropriate cloth face covering over their nose and mouth throughout their travel, aligning with best practice guidelines from the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention].”

If unable to wear a mask because of health reasons, Delta discourages traveling altogether. However, the airline does offer an alternative. “We encourage customers who are prevented from wearing a mask due to a health condition to reconsider travel,” the airline has said. “If they decide to travel, they will be welcome to fly upon completing a virtual consultation prior to departure at the airport to ensure everyone’s safety, because nothing is more important.”

They are also one of the few airlines to enforce social distancing by reducing the number of passengers on a flight and blocking seats between passengers. Delta also maintains a “no-fly list” of people who refused to wear masks on flight, which has more than 100 people on it according to Delta CEO Ed Bastian.

“We’ve been steadily and rather aggressively stepping up our enforcement of the mask policy. You cannot board a Delta plane unless you have a mask on. If you board the plane and you insist on not wearing your mask, we will insist that you don’t fly Delta into the future. We already have over 100 people we’ve put on that list,” Bastian told NBC.

So, if you want to fly the friendly skies the safest way possible, Delta might be your best bet.

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