Delta Air Lines Adds Face Mask Requirement

Filed Under: Delta

And now all airlines seem to be following one another. We’ve just seen announcements from JetBlue, Frontier, and American, regarding passengers having to wear face masks. Now Delta is joining the club as well.

Delta Air Lines will require face masks

As of May 4, 2020, Delta Air Lines will require all employees and customers to wear a face masks or appropriate face covering.

Face coverings will be required throughout the journey, including at check-in, in Delta SkyClubs, at boarding gates, in jet bridges, and onboard flights.

There are a couple of exceptions:

  • People unable to keep a face covering in place, including children, are exempt
  • Face coverings don’t have to worn during meal services

Delta also notes that face masks are “strongly encouraged” in high-traffic areas at the airport that aren’t Delta-specific, like security lines and restrooms.

This is a temporary requirement, and they’ll be communicating this with customers through the same channels they have shared all other changes.

As Delta’s Chief Customer Experience Officer describes this decision:

“Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our people and our customers. While we remain committed to our new standard of clean and to providing more space for our customers when they travel, we take seriously the CDC guidelines for adding this extra layer of protection. We believe this change will give customers and employees some additional comfort when traveling with us.”

Delta will have masks for those who need them

While Delta encourages customers to bring their own face coverings when traveling, the airline will have supplies available to those who need them. Presumably they would be available starting at check-in, since a face covering is required throughout the Delta journey.

Bottom line

It seems like we’re quickly getting to the point where most (and probably eventually all) US airlines will require passengers to wear face masks. I firmly believe that this is the right move for now, given the lack of social distancing that’s possible on aircraft.

Hopefully this requirement doesn’t last as long as the ban on liquids… 😉

  1. Good to see airlines finally stepping in to fill the void left from the complete and utter lack of leadership from Washington.

    @Howard — stay home. We’re all better for it you stopping the spread–obviously you don’t care about getting others infected. The sooner the number of deaths decline the faster people are going to start spending again.

  2. @Howard

    Please share with the rest of us who want to do our part to help contain the spread of virus why you refuse to wear a face mask for any reason.
    BTW would that include refusing to wear a face mask if there was thick smoke in the plane or on the ground.

  3. @Howard is a freedom lovin’ ‘Merican!!! A modern day Rosa Parks! A true independent thinker! You damn socialists! FREEDOM FREEDOM FREEDOM!!! ‘Merica’s the GREATEST! Impeach Fauci!

  4. @Tiffany/Ben – Howard and James N are Exhibits A and B as far as “hoaxers” go.

    Posting here is a privilege, not a right. Send them back to Infowars or Breitbart or wherever.

  5. And United will be next. These airlines are like a pack of howling dogs. Once one starts, the rest join in.

  6. I support this. Only idiots and jerks refuse to wear a mask.

    If you cough, coughing into your elbow is selfish and bullying. If you cough into your mask, that is better. If you don’t believe it, volunteer to be coughed on by a Covid-19 patient and you get to choose between a direct cough into your face or you get to wear a mask? Which would you choose?

    True, masks are not 100% but do help.

  7. Health theater is the new security theater I guess. How do people still not understand this is endemic now? Everyone is going to get it. Millions of Americans already have. Can we move on already?

  8. Bravo to Delta for both protecting and providing their travelers. I am completely for this requirement given that Delta is providing masks to those travelers who don’t already have their own. In the US, many families didn’t already have face masks prior to the coronavirus, and it is impossible to find them in many metro areas at any price. I’m a Delta Platinum myself (ATL-based) and I’m pleased to see them strike the right balance between passenger safety and providing for their travelers.

  9. A flimsy paper mask is the badge of a fool who wears it believing it is anything other than useless.

    Airlines want folk paying to fly and will happily go along with this deception. not impressive in an industry where safety matters.

  10. @Howard: I have no idea where to begin, except let me say that your claim “This virus is probably the least important thing to happen to the world in a 100 years.” is totally off the wall.

    I also have a brain but mine is obviously wired differently than yours.

  11. This seems smart, but like you said – for now! I am all about being safe but also don’t want a permanent hospital/prison experience for the rest of my travel life. I have a lot of travel I need to do in the fall and am basing it on how bad the travel experience will be at the time. We’ll see.

    For the “hoax” clowns, it’s not worth wasting the breath. They will tell you nonsense like “more people die from x” not realizing that is not the point. Ignoring the fact that we lost more Americans to this in 3 months than our entire decade-plus long involvement in Vietnam. The difference being we lost those now 60000+ lives of people that were just living their lives. Further, they ignore the situation in places like NYC. Ignoring the fact that if people were traveling and working this whole time the spread would be exponentially worse. Imagine millions of potentially infected people traveling to places like Florida. Spreading to the waitress that lives there. Who then spreads it to her son when she goes home who then spreads it to his school. Multiply that by millions of traveler-local interactions. The only reason Florida didn’t become a disease cesspool was they finally stayed home and people couldn’t keep going there. Happily Florida remains just a people cesspool, not a disease one.

  12. Glad to see Delta address the eating issue. Other airlines may save you from COVID, but end up sending you to the hospital for low blood sugar or dehydration instead.

  13. @Howard. This week a colleague of mine died from this. Perfectly healthy and 62. No one still understands why. She was “just” sick one week, then coughed up blood the next and went into serious decline. Seven days later after painfully being administered to in intensive care, she died. It was not an easy death. It was brutal from all accounts.

    So go shove your theories and this idiocy up your a$ss. Had it not been for the rest of us you would probably already be “Dead Howard.”

  14. Stuart- You show again that ‘fear’ wins over logic.

    Do you know that 160,000 people die per day, every day, all year long.
    You know math right? 160,000 is a bunch of sports stadiums – a DAY.
    That’s NORMAL.

    Do you understand that?
    This virus has killed 200,000 people since November, so, 6+ months.
    Do any of you understand math like that?

    In the same time period, 600,000 have died JUST in auto accidents.
    30,000,000 (30 MILLION) have died in that same timeframe.

    but, these 200,000 (barely .6% of normal deaths in 6 months) – it’s the end of the world!
    omg, let’s stop the world for .6% of the people who normally die a year!

    And that, is where you all are soooo far off in the woods.

    You would temporarily save 200,000 people (most of whom would naturally be a part of that 60,000,000 people who die annually anyway)..

    And in exchange:
    You will hurt hundreds of millions of strangers.
    Do you know how many people commit SUICIDE in the USA? Look it up, it will blow your mind.

    And you know mental health crises are going up, right?
    Domestic violence is going up?
    Crime is going up?

    Families will be torn apart.
    The measles non-profit talks about hundreds of thousands of kids dying because society isn’t prioritizing measles vaccines now.

    You’re all ok with dead kids, broken families, suicide, violence in the home… for .6% of the annual natural deaths that happen every single year.

    You all have blood on your hands – but you’re ok with that, clearly, because it’s someone else’s blood, not your own…

  15. Since it looks like @Howard won’t be flying anytime soon in the US, I guess he’ll have plenty of time to drive to GA to get a nice tattoo or he could easily find a job in a meat processing plant in IA, SD, NE, MN, TX, etc. Or maybe storm the capital in MI with a semiautomatic weapon and a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag to assert his constitutional rights.

    OTOH, with these new requirements in place I’m ready to consider flying again in the coming months. Glad I won’t be sharing a plane with Howard.

  16. Howard’s lame arguments are reminiscent of arguments smokers used when places started banning smoking. They would claim it is their right and if you don’t like it stay home. This is a society and it isn’t about what you want but what is best for others.

    At times I just want to get on with life and then I get news of a long time friend in his 50s being rushed to the hospital where his heart stopped for 10+ minutes before it was restarted. Unfortunately he is in very bad shape on a ventilator. This is highly contagious and a good 20-40x more fatal than the flu.

  17. @ UA-NYC — We’re really trying, we promise, and very much appreciate you (and other folks) who are keeping an eye out for anti-science nonsense.

  18. Lol americans still debating whether or not to wear masks wheres the rest of asia is wearing masks from months ago and even before (japan korea and china/tw/hk) and you wonder why they’re open and we are still closed. Smh

    Let the hater begin and say their numbers are being cooked. Let’s just look at the fact, they’re open and people aren’t dying left and right.

  19. Many people seem to miss the point of the masks- they will neither protect you from catching the virus, nor prevent it’s spread. The vast majority of us are going to be exposed to the virus if we haven’t been already. However, there is a growing body of evidence to support the theory that exceptional poor outcomes in otherwise healthy individuals may be due to the virus load they are exposed to upon infection. In other words, a droplet or two floating on the breeze might make you mildly sick, but a full body cough right in your face could be lethal. This is why intubation protocols have changed significantly in hospitals; doctors and nurses in Italy exposed to high levels of aerosolized virus died at an alarming rate. So the mask might not stop a person from catching the virus, but it can certainly reduce the number of people who catch it from any one infected person, and could potentially reduce the severity of the symptoms in those who do catch it.

    At any rate, while there is still scant peer reviewed literature on the effectiveness of masks, I don’t see it as a major inconvenience for the time being to wear one. If it turns out wearing one was overrated all along, I can’t say I will have been terribly imposed upon.

  20. What about the availability of face masks in the US? Here in Europe they are still hard to get. The day before yesterday, staff at my supermarket advised me (and perhaps everybody else) that they expect a delivery overnight. Yesterday, the store opened at 8:30am and when I arrived at 8:45am, they had already all been gone, although they restricted the purchase to one package of 20 per customer … They now expect the next delivery on Monday morning.

  21. @Andy – Availability of face masks in the US is likely worse than in Europe. In the US we had no culture of masks before this, probably because many localities actually have laws on the books banning the wearing of masks because they have a history in the US of being associated with racial violence (think basically anti-KKK laws). As such supply chains are having to keep up with the vast increase in demand. I live in metro Atlanta and wouldn’t be able to find a mask at any price right now, so I’ve been big on companies with this requirement also providing masks so that barrier doesn’t exclude folks who just can’t find the things.

  22. @postnobills – I’m actually one of those ‘coastal elites’ that the media makes fun of.
    I live in a big city on the west coast, full of hipsters, etc.
    I own a business that does e-commerce and stuff like that.
    So, uhm, no tattoos, thanks.

    I’m just flying around the US to wrap up all 50 states now, since I am supposed to be abroad. I’m trying to do all 196 countries (~70 in, 120 to go….) while I still own my businesses (the other is international, based in the UK)

    @richard – still here. Off to another bed and breakfast this morning, driving through the South. Commenting on posts like this is, strangely, not my first priority – I have a job and such 🙂

  23. So Howard’s way of defending himself is basically saying everyone else’s data are wrong and only his are correct. He must be more than a ‘coastal elites’, but also a top scientist that knows everything about this virus.

  24. This @howard clown should provide the name of his company and verify that he is a real person. What a selfish horrible person.

  25. I’m real. Just about to hope in the car and drive a few hours to my next destination.

    It’s funny, I have gone without pay so my front line employees can get full pay.
    And we’ve laid off ZERO staff. None.

    Weird – I guess I’m horrible after all 🙂

    Also, have you guys seen air travel is up 70%+ from the lows?
    Admittedly it’s still low, but, yesterday over 150,000 people flew in the US.
    (the low was around 88,000).

    That’s a straight week of solid growth in travel.
    So, things are starting to come back for sure – the data is trickling in.
    I’m sure everyone here is happy to see it, you know, since this is a travel website after all.

    You people do travel… right?

  26. In Howard’s defense, his data is hardly wrong. It also begs the question as to why @Tiffany feels it necessary to bury accurate data and alternative vantage points that do not coincide with everyone else’s highly charged and sensationalized interpretation of COVID-19. It is a simple fact that 80% of the deaths from COVID-19 have occurred in people 65 years and older. It is also an irrefutable fact that everyone who dies from COVID-19 must have had, by definition, and already compromised immune system. This disease does not have a 100% mortality rate and we know with high accuracy what group it targets most severely so, therefore, it is possible to survive it — an event that can only happen by either not getting it or possessing a sufficiently strong immune system. So yes, younger people can get COVID-19, but if, for example, everyone 65+ would just stay at home and self-isolate, then this 80% wouldn’t exist and the death toll would drop by a factor of 5!

    Instead, we recommend wearing masks…which are intended to help prevent the spread of the virus, which presupposes the wearer actually has the virus. If someone does NOT have the virus, why wear the mask? It is not scientifically valid. If the counter to this argument is that people could be asymptomatic, then this either further reinforces the not-so-deadly nature of COVID-19 OR reinforces the need for the at-risk population to continue to self-isolate. Either way, this is a highly controllable outcome that does not justify the wearing of a mask.

    To avoid future deaths — with 100% certainty — those with insufficiently strong immune systems need to continue to social distance, self-isolate, and quarantine. The burden is on this extremely small population. If this actually happens, then every other person on the planet can go about their business, not wear masks, get the virus, pass the virus, survive the virus.

  27. It’s always nice to hear people more eloquent than myself, say the same thing.

    And, as usual, the people who disagree with data, or facts… they just… disappear.
    Once the battle is lost – instead of saying ‘wow, yeah, ok, that’s a good point, we might need to adjust our thinking’

    They double down – or more usually – disappear.

    We’re all on the same team here everyone. There is no penalty for accepting the earth is round after years of thinking it was flat.

    Come join us on the side of logic, reason and data driven decision making.
    It’s much nicer, and we won’t take away your freedoms when it suits us!

  28. Howard and wade it is good to see that some people are using the REAL data and science and not the propaganda the government is pushing on us. I have severe asthma, so for me, wearing a face mask is actually more dangerous for me. Now I am rushing to see my doctor before my flight this week. I will need a medical exemption from the face mask wearing. I don’t think people realize that those of us who don’t want to wear a face mask aren’t being “selfish” or whatever label they like to put on us. So, along with both of your excellent arguments against wearing a mask, another reason for not wearing one is someone like me who can’t breath well if they wear one.

  29. I flew last week on Delta from Atl to LAx with my mask on.. Great idea because no one recognized me. I was flying on my lifetime free pass and was inconvenienced with a poor chap sitting next to me who paid full fare. At least he had the human decency to wear a mask.
    ATL airport was a little dicey and the plane was more crowded than anticipated. Thank goodness as I was worried they would half my pension.
    SLC airport was top notch and the flight to LAX was flawless. I can’t believe my bailout buddy Warren bailed out on me.

  30. This is an arbitrary so called rule. Yesterday flew from TPA to DTW, all except 3 passengers ( who happened to be African American, not being racist, but just sayin’).
    I asked the flight attendant about the facemask policy, and he said they will inform but NOT enforce.
    So basically this rule won’t last long if it’s not enforced.

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