Not Wearing a Mask on These Airlines Could Land You on the No-Fly List

By | September 9, 2020

These airlines are not playing around.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, wearing a mask pretty much everywhere has become standard these days. Along with face coverings, airlines have amped up their sanitization procedures and are taking new measures to ensure that everyone travels as safe as possible. Passengers are required to wear a face-covering while going through airport security, at the terminal, and for the duration of their flight. Most airlines will provide a mask should a passenger not come prepared with one, but a couple of major United States carriers have claimed that unprotected flyers will not only be turned away, but also added to their no-fly list. Don’t miss these things you won’t see in airports anymore.

What is the no-fly list?

Members of airline staff are trained to first give a reminder to put on a mask and offer one to those without. While many passengers are cooperative in abiding by the airline rules, some are not. In July, a Delta flight was forced to turn around after two passengers refused to put on a mask.

Delta and United Airlines have each created their own set of policies for determining if a passenger will be unable to fly with the carrier in the future. After any instance of a passenger refusing a mask, an internal investigation will occur in order to figure out how to proceed. Anyone who is banned will not be allowed to fly with either carrier for a duration of time to be determined after the investigation. Learn how the way we’re boarding planes is making people sick.

How many people are on the no-fly list?

Fortunately, the majority of passengers have been cooperative in wearing masks through their travels. With airlines cracking down, customer reviews show that travelers have been exceedingly happy because they feel safer when getting on a plane during a very scary time. The latest count of banned passengers from United Airlines is around 100 people, while Delta reports that they have over 100 names on their no-fly list. See how many Americans are willing to take a domestic flight right now.

How long will these policies last?

Masks have been mandatory for all passengers and airline staff since May, but the idea of a no-fly list didn’t take effect until mid-July when United Airlines and Delta stated publicly that anyone who refuses to cover their face may not be allowed on their planes in the future.

“If you board the plane and you insist on not wearing your mask, we will insist that you don’t fly Delta into the future,” Ed Bastian, Delta CEO, told Today.

“They could potentially be banned from flying United while this face mask policy is in place,” Maddie King, a spokesperson for United Airlines, expressed to Travel + Leisure in regards to people refusing to wear masks.

The duration of each case varies, but it is likely that those on the no-fly list will be banned from each airline at least while a mask policy is in place. Airlines are doing the best they can to conform with CDC health regulations as well as respect the needs of their staff and passengers. These procedures are constantly changing as new policies come into play, but the main goal is that everyone arrives at their destination safely. Find out all the ways travel could change after coronavirus.

For more on this developing situation, including how life might be different post-lockdown, see our comprehensive Coronavirus Guide.


  • Travel + Leisure: “What the No-Fly List Really Means for Travelers Who Refuse to Wear a Mask”
  • Buzzfeed News: “A Delta Flight Was Forced to Turn Around After Two Passengers Refused to Wear Masks”
  • Travel + Leisure: “United Will Place People Who Refuse to Wear a Mask on a No-Fly List”
  • Travel + Leisure: “Delta Has Placed Over 100 People on No-Fly List for Refusing to Wear a Mask, CEO Says”
  • Today: “If you insist on no mask, ‘we’ll insist you don’t fly Delta,’ CEO says”

Health – Reader's Digest