Alaska Airlines Strengthens Face Covering Policy: No Mask, No Travel, No Exceptions
As part of a final warning, this yellow card could be issued to a guest who repeatedly refuses to wear a mask or face covering on an Alaska Airlines aircraft.
Passengers who do not comply with the requirement will not be permitted to travel
As part of continuing efforts to keep guests and employees safe, Alaska Airlines announced today that all guests must wear a cloth mask or face covering at all times when at the airport or onboard Alaska aircraft.
Effective August 7, all Alaska guests age 2 and older will be required to wear a cloth mask or face covering over their nose and mouth—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.
“We all need to look out for each other during this health emergency, and the best way we can do that—and prevent the spread of the virus—is to simply wear a mask or face covering when we’re around each other,” said Max Tidwell, Alaska Airlines’ vice president of safety and security. “Safety remains priority number one for Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air. 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.”
In late June, Alaska empowered its flight attendants to issue a final notice to any guest—in the form of a yellow card handed to them—who repeatedly disregards the requirement to wear a mask while onboard. Going forward, if a guest chooses not to comply after receiving the yellow card, his or her travel with Alaska will be suspended immediately upon landing. 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.
Since Alaska’s mask enforcement policy was enacted in May, the overwhelming majority of guests have respected the requirement—and many guests have raised concerns about the few who do not. For guests who forget their mask, Alaska will have them available upon request, in addition to providing individual hand-sanitizer wipes on board.Acceptable face coverings:
- Face coverings must be made from a cloth or other barrier material that prevents the discharge and release of respiratory droplets from a person’s nose or mouth.
Unacceptable face coverings:
- Face coverings with direct exhaust valves.
- Face coverings that do not cover a guest’s nose and mouth.
- Face shields without masks.
Alaska will continue to block seats flights through October 31 for physical distancing, while providing the opportunity for families and larger groups to sit near each other if requested. The airline’s “peace of mind” travel policy has been extended through September 8, allowing guests to make adjustments to their travel plans with no change or cancellation fees.Recently, nearly 100 actions have been implemented to keep guests and employees safe. Flyers must sign-off on a health agreement at check-in to acknowledge and attest to their willingness to adhere to the mask requirement. Other layers of safety include enhanced cleaning of our planes in between every flight; hospital-grade HEPA air filters; an air filtration system that circulates fresh, outside air into the cabin every three minutes; limited onboard service to reduce interactions; hand-sanitizing stations throughout the journey and more, all a part of Alaska’s commitment to Next-Level Care.
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Alaska Problems Require Alaska Solutions
On January 16, a fire destroyed the water plant and washeteria in the southwest Alaska village of Tuluksak. For the village of about 350 people, it was a devastating blow. The water plant was the only source of drinking water in the village, in which the primarily Yup’ik residents lack indoor plumbing and rely on honey buckets, not uncommon in the flat, swampy region.