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A growing number of major travel suppliers add face mask requirements & enforcement policies

  • IHG (parent company of Holiday Inn) & Hyatt hotels join Marriott & Lowes hotels in requiring face mask usage within indoor public spaces of the property.  Hilton, Radisson and Wyndham hotels are expected to soon follow.  This new policy follows the Safe Stay recommendations put forth by the American Hotel & Lodging Association.  
  • While all major US airlines are now requiring face masks on flights, United Airlines has enhanced its policy by requiring face masks in the airport when the traveler is at a UA customer service counter, a United Club and in United baggage claim areas.   Travelers not complying could be banned from future United flights.  
    • The only people excluded from the policy are children under 2 years old; passengers who believe they have an extraordinary circumstance should reach out to the airline or talk to an airport representative.
  • Delta Airlines has implemented a new policy requiring that travelers who request an exemption from mask wearing on a flight must undergo a medical evaluation at the airport prior to boarding. 
    • Face coverings are required starting in the check-in lobby and across Delta touch points including Delta Sky Clubs, boarding gate areas, jet bridges, and on board the aircraft for the duration of the flight – except during meal service. Their use is also strongly encouraged in high-traffic areas including security lines and restrooms.
  • Southwest Airlines said that beginning July 27, all travelers must wear face coverings to fly. The only exception will be for children under 2. "If a customer is unable to wear a face covering or mask for any reason, Southwest regrets that we will be unable to transport the individual," the airline said in a statement.
  • American Airlines will require all customers over the age of two to wear face coverings at airports and on board starting July 29, 2020.  Customers must wear a mask from the time they enter their departure airport and not remove it until they exit their arrival airport (except for when eating/drinking).
    • This updated policy expands AA’s face covering requirement to include all areas of the airports where they operate, including Admirals Clubs, as well as on board all American flights and does not allow for exemptions for those over 2 years old. Those unwilling to comply with this face covering requirement at any time during their journey with American may be barred from future travel for the duration of this face covering requirement.

As with everything during this time of Covid-19, policies, parameters & protocols extended by major travel suppliers are very fluid, but these recent announcements concerning face masks insinuate that the requirement of face masks throughout the travel experience will become more commonplace across the industry. 

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