United to allow some mask refuseniks back onboard

United Airlines has said it will allow some passengers who have been banned for not wearing face masks back on board.

It said in a statement: “On a case-by-case basis we will allow some customers who were previously banned for failing to comply with mask-related rules to fly United again – after ensuring their commitment to follow all crewmember instructions on board.”

Reports suggested the airline has grounded almost 1,000 passengers due to non-compliance with airline policy during the Covid pandemic.

The change comes after major US carriers, including United, relaxed rules requiring face coverings on flights following a ruling by a Florida judge that the mask mandate was unlawful.

The airline now says on its website: “All employees and customers are welcome to wear a face covering if they choose. However, face coverings are no longer required on board domestic flights and at most U.S. airports. If you’re flying internationally, whether face coverings are required is dependent upon the arrival country’s mask requirements.”

British Airways and Virgin Atlantic are also making mask-wearing optional for passengers on transatlantic flights to the US.

Last autumn, it was reported that almost 600 United Airlines employees face losing their jobs because they have not complied with the carrier’s Covid-19 vaccination policy.

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