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Aug. 5, 2020, 8:01 a.m. EDT

Alaska Airlines strengthens face covering policy: No mask, no travel, no exceptions

Passengers who do not comply with the requirement will not be permitted to travel

SEATTLE, Aug. 5, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- 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 Aug. 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 Oct. 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 Sept. 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 .

Alaska Airlines and its regional partners serve more than 115 destinations across the United States and North America, providing essential air service for our guests along with moving crucial cargo shipments, such as food, medicine, mail and e-commerce deliveries. With hubs in Seattle; San Francisco; Los Angeles; Portland, Oregon; and Anchorage, Alaska, the airline is known for low fares, award-winning customer service and sustainability efforts. With Alaska and its Global Partners, guests can earn and redeem miles on flights to more than 800 destinations worldwide. Learn more about Alaska at newsroom.alaskaair.com and blog.alaskaair.com. Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air are subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group /zigman2/quotes/200972303/composite ALK -2.88% .  

 

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SOURCE Alaska Airlines

COMTEX_368913634/2454/2020-08-05T08:00:51

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