This could get ugly. An airline CEO said flights will divert if people don’t wear masks.
Frontier Airlines chief Barry Biffle told the Wall Street Journal (reprinted here at Fox News Travel) apropos of passengers wearing masks, “if someone is uncompliant, we will eventually divert an airplane.”
Is That Diversion-Worthy?
We wrote last week several airlines told employees that passenger mask requirements were, essentially, unenforceable guidelines. Basically, wearing a mask is a pre-requisite for boarding the plane.
But once you step foot on the aircraft? That’s when the rules seem to relax.
According to Reuters, American Airlines told its pilots “’a passenger on board your aircraft who is being compliant with the exception of wearing a face covering is NOT considered disruptive enough to trigger a Threat Level 1 response,’ referring to some kind of intentional disruption by a passenger that could cause the captain to divert the flight.”
But Mr. Biffle and Frontier apparently aren’t messing around.
Look, do I dread wearing a mask the next time I fly? Oh, heck, yes.
But there are many things in life we dread yet do anyway (pay bills, go to work, visit certain people…). Do I hope that masks eventually won’t be “required”? Of course.
Or maybe airlines hope passengers will pressure “offenders” into donning masks (sort of a social contract) so flights don’t get diverted? An already tense setting — concerned passengers wearing masks — certainly won’t get any calmer when someone(s) refuses to play by the rules.
But here’s where the diversion threat might get interesting:
Want Some Press? Don’t Wear a Mask on Your Flight!
If airlines indeed divert flights because passengers don’t wear masks, I think flight diversions will become the new high-profile protest.
Why? It might be a great way for activists to get a bunch of attention for their causes.
Sure, it will anger the passengers on that flight, screw up their travel plans, possibly cost them hotel and car reservations, and more.
But, hey! Imagine the press!
Joe Activist of Cause Célèbre was detained after his flight was diverted. Mr. Activisit refused to wear a mask inflight — a violation of the airline’s PPE policy. When asked why he didn’t comply, he said it was to draw attention to such-and-such’s plight…”
Sounds crazy, sure.
But you know darn well it’s going to happen. (And deep-pocketed supporters will happily foot any costs associated with the diversion.)
What Do You Think?
Where do you fall on this one? Is not wearing a mask a diversion-worthy offense? Tell us your thoughts in the Comments section.
H/T: Daily Mail. Featured image: ©iStock.com/macky_ch
Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.