Alaska Airlines this week announced that, starting Aug. 7, all guests who are over 2-years-old would be required to wear a face mask or covering at airports and onboard flights with no exceptions.
“If a guest is unwilling or unable to wear a mask for any reason while at the airport, they will not be permitted to travel. If a guest refuses to wear a mask after boarding their flight, they will be suspended from future travel,” Alaska said on Wednesday.
“Safety remains priority number one for Alaska Airlines, and Horizon Air,” Alaska’s vice president of safety and security Max Tidwell added. “Our tougher policy shows how important this issue is to us and our guests. If you don’t wear a mask, you won’t be flying with us.”
Alaska had been allowing flight attendants to enforce its mask policy onboard flights since late June and have been providing masks, and hand sanitizer, to all guests should they require one. Flight attendants, under that policy, would be able to give a final notice to any guest who refuses to wear a mask or face covering onboard its flights. With that warning, which will be in the form of a yellow card that flight attendants hand a guest, Alaska said, “the guest’s travel with us will be reviewed and could be suspended for a period.”
Now, Alaska says that any guest who doesn’t comply after getting that warning from a flight attendant will have their travel suspended immediately upon landing and will have any future trips or connections also canceled.
"Any remaining portion of the guest's itinerary will be canceled – including connecting or return flights – along with any future trips the guest has booked. The guest will be provided with a full refund for any unused travel and will be responsible for making their own travel arrangements from that point," Alaska said.
The vast majority of its travelers, since Alaska started requiring masks in May, have traveled in compliance with the requirement and those who haven’t have been pointed out by other flyers.. Alaska flyers have also been able to fly with social distancing onboard—the airline will continue to block middle seats through Oct. 31.