This Passenger Is About To Be Banned By Delta Air Lines For Refusing To Wear A Mask

On Delta’s Cancun – New York JFK flight DL787 on Friday, the man sitting in 31D kept asking for help from a flight attendant. Delta has been blocking middle seats, but the man seated nearest him in 31F kept removing his face mask.

This man “wasn’t eating or drinking” according to his seat opponent who wrote in about the July 31 flight. He had a mask – it was necessary to board – but it was hanging down below his face. A flight attendant asked him to put the mask on at the beginning of the flight. Reportedly he did – until the flight attendant left. Two more times during the flight he was apparently asked by a crewmember to don his mask, and he’d comply until he was no longer being watched.

His seat neighbor “used the call button toward the end of the flight..asked a[ flight attendant] for a headset in hopes she’d see another mask violation but she didn’t notice it.” Or at least she decided to ignore it, since the man had already been admonished several times. The other passenger, who had previously reported him, went to the galley at the back of the aircraft to “firmly request that they flag this guy” for disregarding procedures to keep other passengers safe.

He was seated in the back of the plane for the rest of the flight, to avoid a conflict with the maskless man, and a crewmember “admonished this guy again.” A flight attendant “assured..they will write him up” after four fruitless requests for him to wear his mask.

Airlines aren’t going to divert over a mask, and they try to stay non-confrontational. That does little good for the passengers around the person who will not wear them. The only thing they have, then, with a recalcitrant passenger is to follow through on the threat of a ban, and to publicize those bans as a deterrent effect on others. (Even that is limited in value since most people traveling today are infrequent flyers who normally fly less than once a year.)

I introduce you to the passenger from 31F, then, because he’s likely next to be banned from Delta. While American Airlines tells employees it usually takes multiple violations before a passenger is actually banned, as of a week ago Delta had already banned 120 passengers for violating the airline’s mask rule with the ban expected to remain in place until the mask requirement is lifted.

Most of those cannot possibly have violated the airline’s mask rule multiple times, so if Delta’s reported number is true they’re willing to impose the ban based on a single flight writeup.


About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Delta doesn’t have 787s.

    I also think it’s irresponsible to publish this guy’s photo without offering him a rebuttal or opportunity to comment.

  2. @FNT Delta Diamond,

    There is no room for rebuttal… you don’t comply in wearing a mask then you don’t travel.

    Don’t like it? Get to stepping… WALK or CRAWL!

  3. Well you have no expectation to privacy in public, so the picture is fair game.

    What I think is funny is someone is so concerned about covid yet they are on a plane going to Cancun! I’m going to bitch about a mask while I’m on my way to party and get drunk. LMFAO.

    Herd immunity until we get it, this isnt going away and wilk just keep destroying the economy.

  4. 787 is not the aircraft, it’s the flight number. Operated by a 73J. Which means that the guy in the pic is in a D seat, not an F seat.

  5. Well now that you’ve publicized it Delta will no choice but to respond. Please update us as the story develops. Bonus points if he throws a fit at the airport and/or starts assaulting employees.

  6. If this man has a medical condition which makes wearing a mask, a problem
    with his breathing etc. He is exempt. Being a snob however and ignoring the instructions of Flight Crew/Cabin Crew, will land you in trouble.

  7. The airlines–all of them–can fail as far as I’m concerned. Complying with unlawful “orders” by elected nitwits to force the use of a medical device (which is what masks are, according to the F.D.A.) across the board–they can all go screw. The fear of so many I find quite off-putting–repulsive, actually, along with the willingness to snitch. Add to all of this the apparent amnesia as it regards the human immune system–and I no longer have any idea what to make of people. That system has provided for the 99.50+% recovery rate of those who come down with the infection. Yet in the “exceptional nation” full of cowards and those willing to take a sledge hammer to the economy, Delta–on its last legs, potentially–decides it would rather…obey.

  8. Many of us grew up with the understanding that, yes, you may misbehave if you choose, but there are consequences. This guy either didn’t get the lesson or is a slow learner.

  9. Most of the opposition to masks is based on ‘free will’; a strong and normally admirable characteristic of Americans and many Europeans (especially Germans and Irishmen) who strongly believe in doing as they please. And that’s fine! They view masks as oppression; but it’s not like the years America denied blacks or gays or what have you their basic rights. Free will ends when it hurts others. Most classic supporters of ‘free will’ will (or should) believe it is fine (mind my own business in essence) unless or until the point where it hurts others or infringes on their rights. And that is just where the intersection with ‘public health’ collides with people proclaiming their right …to what; expose others? Science proves the merit of wearing masks; it was not political in Japan, Taiwan or South Korea (I omitted China because it is an authoritarian state). I warned of this in my IngerLetter. com writings starting in late January when we warned of pandemic risk; and encouraged masks as well as realized Fauci et al felt the same, but there was the PPE shortage. Sadly that no mask needed lie back then (they spin it now) is used by some (even Trump) to justify inconsistent policy. The other thing they miss that I pointed-out since calling the market’s bottom on March 23rd, is the failure to have unified National policy and expedite On-site quick saliva testing (like Columbia Univ. now has with Sorrento Therapeutics and is about to get Emergency Authorization). Shame on our leaders (both parties) for politicizing this. Much of the world also has 2nd waves; but less politics.

  10. He has the mask.
    He was trying to be a play’a
    If you can’t comply with a public safety”request”, stay away.
    If you are being constrained, think you are being wronged, stay on your own, find like minded people.
    Then see how each group fares
    Science is on the side, in this instance, of the mask.

  11. Snitches and Paranoid imbevils everywhere. Next time don’t blame Hitler.
    You put a star on or a mask…. You are being conditioned, Sheeple !
    Same thing. Those masks are worth nothing .
    In order to fly wearing the sign of the Moron thou shalt !

  12. First, how did Gary Leff turn this into a bitch about American Airlines who on FAA record has diverted several flights last week for passengers disregarding mask rules??!!

    If a flight diverts for this the FAA FONES THE PASSENGER $10K and they collect with liens and garnishments.

    Please Gary Leff stop your BS. Airlines are doing what they can. You have NO IDEA what date this passenger got and I assure you he did he get consequences.

  13. Delta Nazi Airlines with their disgusting Snitching Passengers on their hypocritical trip to whore and drink in a huge crowd in Cancun. You guys are disgusting !
    Why don’t you just shoot the evil Mask Denier !

  14. Kathleen, Dr. Adrian Baron de Rochambault ,Paris, and Juan Claus are 1000000% correct!

    This mass hysteria among the pissing-in-their-pants covidiots is asounding and deeply disturbing!

    The rest of you should be ashamed of yourselves!!!!! Troglodytes!

  15. @Your daddy

    The plane was coming back from Cancun, not heading there. Just as bad or worse case for not wearing his mask.

  16. Hey @FNT Delta Diamond – If you were really a Diamond on Delta, you’d know that 787 is a flight #, not an aircraft type.

  17. @Amazing Larry
    If you sit next to me on a flight, I will remove my pants as it is my god-given right to be naked whenever I want. My bare-bottom poses no risk of infection and I promise to place a towel on my seat before I sit down.
    Delta and all other airlines should ban this guy right away despite what the boot-licking Trumper say.

  18. Seems a simple thing to ask. My mask protects you from droplets I may bring forth. Yours protects me and I am elderly. It is plainly disrespectful to not wear a mask when you are near me when you speak, sneeze, or cough. But I am willing to wear one for your sake. If you don’t want to comply stay off of planes.

  19. Mask rules are clear and concise; wear the mask! If you do not, then suffer the consequences; barred from flying! A great policy. Delta is to be commended for being the policy leader. Hopefully, all airlines will fully embrace this rational safety protocol!

  20. WileyDog, you’re seriously trying to compare the ordered wearing of a medical device (with little to no effectiveness against airborne pathogens, according to the F.D.A. and OSHA) with documented dangers, especially for healthy men, women, and children, to an artice of clothing? Is that what you’re trying to do?

    And Gene…did you just say that??? Honest to God…SMH.

  21. Good ban these jackasses. We have screwed around with these anti-masker people enough. They aren’t going to comply. Its time they understand there are real consequences to their actions.

  22. “He was seated in the back of the plane for the rest of the flight, to avoid a conflict with the maskless man.”

    Why are airlines ‘penalizing’ or inconveniencing the person who reports the problem with a seat move and not the actual person committing the offense? The FA should tell the offender that because they have been warned multiple times, they now need to move to a location in the back of the plane. Seems like the fair and reasonable thing to do.

  23. Masks protect others from your droplets and possibly your Covid-19 infection!!!

    Medical devices? Are you effing crazy? They sell N95 masks at Lowes and Home Depot. People in numerous professions wear masks all day long with NO issues.

    The Trump ignoramuses are out again! Stay home you idiots!!!

    I love that Delta is banning mask violators. Along with not selling middle seats, Delta is making a long term business decision.

  24. @ Kathleen, et al — If you don’t like it and can’t comply, start your own airline, fly private, stay home, or drive. You have no right to do as you please on public transportation. You must wear pants. You must wear a mask. It is quite simple. A five year old can follow these rules, why can’t an adult?

  25. BTW, Herman Cain was suffering from Stage 4 cancer…..I respected the man, but not sure just because he had been recently infected, that his cause of death was the virus.

  26. @Kathleen
    Come-on, my perineum needs air and pants restrict the flow of vital oxygen to my private parts. I could get a virus from your unmasked mouth, but my 72 year old butt may give everyone a good laugh.

    You need to pull you head away from right-wing sites that clearly hate people and a representative form of government and get a broader education.

    Maybe this is a right-wing conspiracy to destroy the economy for the 99% Clearly, the only ones profiting from the extended pandemic are the allies of Trump.

  27. With most airlines, you can leave your mask off as long as you have a drink in your hand, as Ted Cruz has demonstrated. Some airlines are even still doing snacks and drinks where the entire plane takes them off! This is why I will not be flying in the foreseeable future!

  28. 51yr flight attendant with a major US based airline. If you are not willing to wear a mask – stay home. If you are not willing to wear pants – stay home. If you are not willing to control yourself or your children – stay home. If you are not willing to close and lock a bathroom door – stay home. If you are not willing to wear a seat belt – stay home. If you are not willing to treat others with respect and decency – stay home. It’s actually not all that complicated. Be humane, decent and respectful. It works throughout life. You may not agree with the rules but they remain the rules. Comply or do not fly. Almost everyone is on-edge right now. Please do not add more stress to an emotionally charged climate.

  29. “I also think it’s irresponsible to publish this guy’s photo without offering him a rebuttal or opportunity to comment.”

    Ummm…the photo IS his rebuttal. Pure and simple…

  30. Looks to me like he is wearing a mask. It just happens that the mask is below his nose and mouth. And, am I supposed to remove my mask to sneeze or cough? Or do I just go ahead and sneeze/cough into the mask?

  31. It continues to surprise me that those who refuse to wear masks are determined to put their own interests above the health and well-being of others. These people are not kind, intelligent or polite. Their insensitivity to others ,disregard for common sense and down-right rudeness are astonishing. Instead of making American Great, they and theirs have decimated the performance of our country and disgraced it in the eyes of the world. We gone in the last 4 years from a great country to the bottom of the heap not only in terms of covid deaths/cases, unemployment, environmental protection, etc., etc. I am ashamed of them and what they have done to our country.

  32. I am so glad Delta is being strict about their mask policy. I refuse to fly because there are lots of wreckless, narcissistic people in this country that would rather kill other people then wear a piece of cloth over their mouth and nose. My biggest fear on an airplane used to be that I could be seated next to someone wearing strong perfume which gives me migraines that Tylenol does nothing for. Now the fact that I could be seated next to a potential murderer keeps me off planes completely.

    If I could fly and know all pax had to keep masks on 100% of the time or they could be put in jail I would MAYBE think about flying. But that will not happen and I don’t want to be stuck in a metal tube without a way to leave so I will not be flying anytime in the near future.

    I am an AA flyer and I will say that in this age of COVID-19 if I HAD to fly I would take Delta over any other carrier. I feel AA is being the most wreckless of the 3 largest US carriers.

  33. Chris are you missing some brain cells? Are you trolling? Why on earth would you remove the mask to cough and sneeze? Come on dude. Use your brain.

    FYI if you really do need an explaination then here it is. Keep the mask on and cough or sneeze into the mask BUT hold your hand to your face as you would if you didn’t have a mask on because your hand will keep the mask in place more so less droplets exit out the sides of the mask.

  34. It is because of intelligent people like this noncompliant moron that we are never going to be rid of this virus. He should be banned from flying on all airlines. PERIOD.

  35. Look, this fellow has a bottle between his legs. He is obviously drinking from that bottle while switching some channels on TV.

  36. Trump2020!
    Joe Biden chews Alzheimer’s meds with his pancakes…..when he remembers too.

  37. What a tool. Why ban just during the pandemic ? If they ban for life, more will comply, trust me. I hope they banned him from coming back from Mexico too! I agree that when one airline bans, so should the rest for that same $#@! Person. It’s not like they would wear a mask for one airline and not another. Ban for life.

    P. S. For the persom who said it was irresonsible to show this selfish ignorant persons face, it’s not. Nor is it illegal unless there is defamation. He’s not a minor. Seems like many people will support the same story that this jerk off thinks he’s above the rules. So not much he can say to defend himself. Don’t even try to tell me he has a medical condition when people with asthma and other lung issues wear them. Shame him so he learns and so others see the consequences.

  38. This is Karen at it’s finest. This guy has a drink clearly in iha lap and mask iss on but not covering his mouth. how else is heto take a drink. people are always in a rush to judge.

  39. Look even Dr. Fauci at the Nationals game wasn’t wearing a mask then he lied about it….on Fox News, not CNN or MSNBC…and said he was extremely dehydrated and was “rehydrating himself” with water. A bottle of water that still had the lid on sitting between he and his wife, who, oh yeah, didn’t have her mask on either in one of the pictures. He wasn’t dehydrated, he was talking to his friend in one and staring straight ahead watching the game in another. Bull crap. I’ll tell you what it was. He didn’t think anyone was watching or taking his picture so he took his mask off. Now he’s starting some crap about we should wear goggles. And oh yeah, he was allowed to stay at a game that us regular baseball fans would not be allowed to attend because of his shutdown.

    So people need to stop being narcs and mask Nazis. People should follow authority, meaning if an airline requires a mask, then wear it. But if they don’t, then let the airline deal with it. Don’t be a narc and publish his picture all over the place. If the flight attendants had to say something to this guy, I’m sure they filled out an incident report about it. Let the process play out.

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