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Delta CEO: Over 100 people already on airline's banned list for refusing to wear a mask

Delta CEO: Over 100 people already on airline's banned list for refusing to wear a mask
© Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Over 100 people have been added to Delta’s no-fly list because they refused to wear a mask on a flight, CEO Ed Bastian said on Wednesday.

“We've been steadily and rather aggressively stepping up our enforcement of the mask policy. You cannot board a Delta plane unless you have a mask on. 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. We already have over 100 people we've put on that list,” Bastian told NBC.

Delta Air Lines has been requiring passengers wear masks on flights since May 1.

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Airlines for America (A4A), which represents the major U.S. airlines including Delta, warned in June that customers could be put on a carriers’ do not fly list if they refuse to wear a face mask on planes. 

Airlines are allowing passengers who are eating or drinking to remove their masks. Passengers that have a medical exception are also not required to wear a mask, but Bastian announced a new policy to deal with those situations. 

“We implemented a new procedure this week because we've had some customers indicate that they have underlining conditions that makes wearing a mask dangerous for them. We've told them then, you may not want to fly — to reconsider whether air travel is the right form of transportation,” he said.

For those customers who still want to fly, Delta has a screening process with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, he said.

“[T]he customer will talk to the doctor before they get on the plane to actually have it validated that they indeed cannot wear a mask,” he said.

The news comes after American Airlines, which also requires all passengers to wear masks during the duration of their flight, said the company has reached out to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) after photographs emerged of the senator not wearing a mask on a plane.

A Cruz spokesperson has said that Cruz was drinking coffee and removed his mask to do so when he was photographed.