Southwest Airlines Requires Face Masks To Be Worn At All Times

Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV) announced Wednesday that it requires its passengers to wear face masks at all times.

Southwest Airlines’ announcement comes after the airline recently booted a woman and her 2-year-old son from a flight in Florida because the child wasn’t wearing a mask.

Jodi Degyansky said that she and her son were on a flight departing from Fort Myers, Florida, on Saturday when she was approached by airline staff after she said her son removed his mask for a snack.

Degyansky said she was repeatedly told that her son was required to wear a mask due to the airline’s policy. The plane later returned to the gate and she and her son were escorted from the flight.

Southwest’s mask policy on its website reads, “We do acknowledge there may be times when a customer needs to briefly remove their face covering, for instance, to eat, drink, or take medicine. However, we expect these instances to be very brief, and customers should put their face covering back on as soon as possible.”

Later, the airline released a statement regarding the event, saying, “If a Customer is unable to wear a face-covering for any reason, Southwest regrets that we are unable to transport the individual. In those cases, we will issue a full refund and hope to welcome the Customer onboard in the future, if public health guidance regarding face coverings changes.”

“Caring for others with our Southwest Hearts is at the center of everything we do, which is especially important during this pandemic,” the airline added. “We appreciate the ongoing support and spirit of cooperation among our Customers and Employees as we collectively take care of each other while striving to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

Meanwhile, Southwest announced it has also implemented physical distancing measures in airports and onboard aircraft and maintains a stringent cleaning schedule of its facilities and aircraft throughout each day.

The carrier will also leave middle seats open through November 30.

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