Delta Air Lines will begin allowing passengers who were banned from flying for “mask non-compliance” back on its airplanes after a federal judge struck down the Biden administration’s mask mandate for air, rail and other travel, the company said Wednesday.
In a statement, Delta said it will restore flight privileges for customers who demonstrate “an understanding of their expected behavior when flying with us.”
"Any further disregard for the policies that keep us all safe will result in placement on Delta’s permanent no-fly list," the company said. "Customers who demonstrated egregious behavior and are already on the permanent no-fly list remain barred from flying with Delta."
It wasn’t clear how many people are on the list. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The move came one day after United Airlines said it will also allow some customers who had previously been banned back on its planes.
The Federal Aviation Administration said Wednesday a “zero tolerance” policy for unruly passengers that went into effect in January 2021 would remain permanent.
The policy shift requires fines — some of which have cost passengers tens of thousands of dollars — instead of warnings or counseling, the administration said.
Since Jan. 1, nearly 800 of the 1,233 reported incidents of airline passengers disrupting flights with threats or violent behavior were related to masks, the administration said.
There were nearly 6,000 reports of unruly passengers in 2021, according to administration data. Nearly 4,300 of them were over masks.