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Delta bans 550 passengers for refusing to wear masks

Delta airlines has added nearly 550 passengers on its no-fly list for refusing to wear masks on flights during the coronavirus pandemic, its CEO said in a company memo. 

“Fortunately, that number represents a tiny fraction of our overall customers, the vast majority of whom follow our guidelines and appreciate the steps we are taking to keep them safe and healthy,” Delta CEO Ed Bastian said in a memo obtained by Fox News on Thursday. 

Still, that number is up by more than 100 people compared to last month, when Bastian announced 460 passengers were added to the airline’s no-fly list during the pandemic

Delta implemented its mask-wearing mandate on all flights for employees and customers in April, at the height of the pandemic. In July, it banned 120 customers who refused to wear masks, a memo from July 23 revealed. 

Guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in October said traveling increases the chances of contracting and spreading the coronavirus. The agency strongly recommends “appropriate masks be worn by all passengers and by all personnel operating the conveyance while on public conveyances," the guidelines say.

Other major airline carriers have enforced in-flight mask-wearing policies and have had to prohibit flyers from traveling who do not comply. United confirmed to Fox News on Thursday that it has 350 passengers on its no-fly list. 

American Airlines, which recently expanded its at-home COVID-19 testing to select destinations earlier this month, could not confirm if any passengers violated its mask-wearing policy. 

"We expect our customers to comply with our policies when they choose to travel with us, and we take action when that is not the case," a spokesperson for American Airlines said in an email. 

A spokesperson for Southwest Airlines says the company does not track face-covering compliance issues for public release and "expects compliance to this policy as a measure to prevent the need to ban a customer from future travel." 

This article originally appeared on Fox News

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