Delta has put 240 people on its no-fly list for not wearing masks

Credit: TNS

Credit: TNS

Delta Air Lines has banned 240 passengers for not wearing masks in violation of its requirement.

“Although rare, we continue to put passengers who refuse to follow the required face-covering rules on our no-fly list,” said Delta CEO Ed Bastian in a memo to employees Thursday.

Among those banned was former Navy SEAL Robert O’Neill, who wrote a book about his military experience, including the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound. O’Neill last week tweeted a photo of himself on a Delta flight without a mask, later deleted it and tweeted that he had been banned by Delta for “posting a picture.”

Major U.S. airlines require passengers to wear masks and have been tightening their policies.

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport also requires masks throughout the terminal. Those not wearing masks in the Atlanta airport will be asked by airport employees to comply with the city ordinance by wearing one, according to spokeswoman Elise Durham. The airport is also handing out masks to those who don’t have one, but is not writing citations or arresting travelers, Durham added.

Atlanta-based Delta requires masks at check-in, in boarding areas and on the plane throughout the flight except while eating or drinking. The airline does not allow masks with exhaust valves and has cracked down on medical exemptions, but has certain exemptions for young children.

The airline also plans to add hand sanitizer near airplane lavatories and boarding doors, with the first installations starting Friday on Boeing 757-200 planes.

Separately, Delta said it is sending emails to its employees who live in high-risk Georgia counties so they can take precautions to protect themselves and their families, according to Bastian’s memo.

He added that similar emails will be sent weekly to employees who live in high-risk areas in Florida and in Minnesota, where Delta has a hub at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport.

The notifications are “part of the extensive layers of protection, which include employee testing, cleaning, masks, and social distancing,” according to Bastian.