Like many airlines these days, Delta requires masks for passengers on board in an effort to reduce the risk for spreading COVID-19. Unfortunately, not everyone seems to have gotten the memo, including two passengers who refused to wear masks while on their flight, which caused the plane to return to its gate.
On July 23, Delta flight 1227 was set to take off from Detroit to Atlanta, CNN reports. However, two passengers weren’t wearing masks and did not comply with the crew’s instructions to put masks on. So the flight had to return to its gate. Thankfully, after the passengers were removed from the flight, the plane was able to head to its destination.
“Flight 1227 from Detroit to Atlanta returned to the gate following two customers who were non-compliant with crew instructions,” a Delta spokesperson confirmed to SELF. “After a short delay, the aircraft departed to Atlanta.”
Delta’s policy on masks makes things pretty clear: “Delta customers and employees are required to wear a face mask, or appropriate cloth face covering over their nose and mouth throughout their travel,” the airline’s site reads. The only time passengers aren’t required to wear a face covering while on board is for limited periods of time when eating or drinking. Delta also recently banned 120 passengers for refusing to wear masks, according to CBS News.
Why is there such a fuss over masks? Well, a mask may not be the most comfortable thing to wear, especially for the duration of a long-haul flight, but it’s important. As SELF reported previously, wearing a mask is one of a few public health tools we have that can reliably help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
We know that the virus is primarily spread via respiratory droplets, which can be expelled when you cough, sneeze, talk, etc. Those droplets, which may contain the virus, can then land in someone else’s mouth, eyes, or nose and go on to infect them. So if everyone wears a mask, that makes it much harder for those droplets to spread.
Inaccurate claims about the supposed health risks of wearing a mask have been spreading recently. But as SELF previously explained, there isn’t science to back up those claims. Wearing a mask for an extended period of time will not cause you to inhale dangerous amounts of carbon dioxide, for instance.
Of course, it’s also important to keep up diligent hand hygiene and to maintain at least six feet of distance between others as much as possible. But social distancing can be tough to stick with on a flight, which makes wearing a mask even more important.
All of these issues should factor into any decision you might be making about travel these days. Experts generally agree that taking a road trip is the least-risky way to travel right now, while taking a train journey is a little bit riskier because of the potential for shared spaces and the fact that you generally have less control over your surroundings compared with a car. But flights, especially cramped ones, may be even riskier. You can make the journey less risky by wearing a mask, frequently washing your hands, and taking note of which airlines have the most stringent health and safety policies.
So if you happen to be taking a flight anytime soon, don’t be surprised if, like many businesses these days, your airline requires you to wear a mask. May we suggest a few of our favorites, including these stylish cloth masks or these ultra-breathable ones?
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