While American Airlines got press for banning a conservative activist who was videotaping himself refusing to wear a mask while enroute to the President’s rally recently, that incident was the clear exception while passengers continue to not wear masks on board flights every day.
Flight attendants at American Airlines are submitting “a couple dozen” reports per day on passengers refusing to wear masks, according to Senior Vice President of Flight Services Jill Surdek at a question and answer session with flight attendants this past week, a recording of which was reviewed by View From The Wing.
Corporate security reviews each report and it’s a “super easy decision” to ban the passenger after they’ve been reported “multiple times.”
Customers can register exemptions from mask wearing due to health conditions (which aren’t going to be questioned) prior to boarding. One problem flight attendants are facing is customers who change seats. When there are open seats on a flight, passengers want to achieve greater social distancing. So flight attendants don’t know who has an exemption and who doesn’t.
Surdek recommends that cabin crew use their ‘my flight’ app, approach the passenger not wearing a mask and ask “[Name of person assigned the seat]?” And they may say they’ve changed seats. They can ask where the person was originally seated, or ask them to put on their mask.