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Delta says not all passengers who violated the mask mandate will be able to fly again

April 21, 2022, 3:59 PM UTC

Even though a federal judge has struck down the mask mandate on airlines, it doesn’t mean the people who caused a ruckus over it in the past will be welcomed back aboard.

Delta Air Lines says flight privileges for passengers who earned a spot on the carrier’s no-fly list after violating mask requirements will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. And if people who are allowed back on planes cause a further disruption, they won’t get another chance.

“With masks now optional, Delta will restore flight privileges for customers on the mask non-compliance no-fly list only after each case is reviewed and each customer demonstrates an understanding of their expected behavior when flying with us,” the airline told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Any further disregard for the policies that keep us all safe will result in placement on Delta’s permanent no-fly list.”

Delta’s not the only carrier amending its policies following the ruling. United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby told the “Today” show on Thursday that customers who purchased tickets and no longer want to fly because of the mask ruling can also get a refund for their ticket.  

That could put those travelers at a disadvantage, though. Kirby said he believed it was “very unlikely” that a mask mandate would return in the foreseeable future.

This all comes as travel experts say they expect the summer of 2022 will be the “busiest travel season ever.”

“We’ve been talking about pent-up demand for a long time, but until now there have been too many restrictions in place for people to do too much with it,” said Expedia Group Chief Executive Officer Peter Kern.

The Justice Department, on Wednesday, announced it plans to appeal the judge’s ruling, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believes it is still necessary.

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