Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian said three weeks ago that while he believes wearing a face mask during flights is important, his airline will not forcibly remove anyone who doesn’t have a face-covering nor will it mandate wearing a mask.
Instead, he is pleading for the federal government to do so.
Appearing on CNN, Bastian said travelers should be federally required to wear a mask on commercial flights.
“We’ve had those discussions with the White House,” he said. “I feel strongly about it. But I’m not sure some of my peers and other airlines feel the same way. So as a practical matter, I’m not sure it’s gonna happen.”
The White House declined to comment to CNN.
Bastian is certainly not the first to plead for such a requirement, and he did say that “99.9 percent” of Delta fliers are following the rules and wearing a mask during flight.
U.S. airlines have not physically thrown passengers off a flight for not having a face covering, but they have denied travelers from booking future flights if they did not wear a mask.
“I think I can speak for corporate America: We’re all frustrated with the politicization of safeguarding the health and well-being of our employees, as well as our customers,” Bastian said. “We ask our customers to wear the mask, not only to safeguard themselves, but just as importantly safeguard others.”
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