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Delta adds 460 passengers who refused masks to 'no-fly' list

Delta said wearing masks "is among the simplest and most effective actions we can take to reduce transmission" and banned 460 mask-refusing customers.
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A ticketing agent for Delta Airlines hands a boarding pass to a passenger as he checks in for a flight in the main terminal of Denver International Airport in Denver on July 22, 2020.David Zalubowski / AP file

Over 400 passenger won't be flying Delta anytime soon as a result of their alleged refusal to wear face masks during flights, according to an internal memo obtained by NBC News.

In a letter to Delta employees Thursday, CEO Ed Bastian said that 460 customers who refused to wear face coverings amid the coronavirus pandemic were added to the airline's "no-fly list."

"Wearing a mask is among the simplest and most effective actions we can take to reduce transmission, which is why Delta has long required them for our customers and our people," Bastian wrote as he announced the bans, encouraging staff to view two internal videos about their effectiveness.

The Atlanta, Georgia-based airline — and many other U.S.-based carriers — began to require non-vented fabric face coverings during flights in May.

The pandemic has already taken a grave toll on Delta and other airlines across the country, many of which began furloughing workers earlier this month when emergency relief funding lapsed without any new congressional funding.

As COVID-19 cases jump across the country, Bastian wrote that reversing the airline's fortunes depends on fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

"With the cold-weather months approaching, stopping the spread will be crucial to our recovery from the pandemic and Delta’s return to growth and leadership within our industry," he wrote.