Alaska Airlines could suspend passengers from future flights for violating new face mask policy

(Photo courtesy of Alaska Airlines and Virgin Airlines)

Alaska Airlines says it will issue formal warnings to any passengers that refuse to cover their faces on board a flight. The Seattle-based company says its new “yellow card” policy is in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement made June 30 the air carrier says that passengers who repeatedly refuse to wear a mask on a flight will be issued a warning in the form of a yellow card. That will trigger a review, and passengers could be suspended from future Alaska Airlines flights.

There are several exceptions to the mask enforcement policy, for children under the age of two, those with breathing problems or other disabilities that make wearing a mask impractical.

Flight attendants will provide masks for passengers who forget their masks, and starting this month, they will also provide individual hand sanitizer wipes on board.

The change comes at a difficult time for airlines across the nation. Ravn Air, the state’s largest rural air carrier, filed for bankruptcy in April, while Alaska Airlines, which has the most scheduled flights into and throughout the state, reported its first quarterly loss in more than a decade as reservations took a sharp dive.