Delta’s No-Fly List Has Grown By 240 Because Of Mask Refusals

US carrier Delta Air Lines has added around 240 people to its no-fly list in recent weeks because…

Delta’s No-Fly List Has Grown By 240 Because Of Mask Refusals

US carrier Delta Air Lines has added around 240 people to its no-fly list in recent weeks because they refused to wear a face mask. Today, in a memo sent to employees, CEO Ed Bastian confirmed that the airline would continue on rare occasions to add to the list when necessary. As there is no federal mandate, US airlines can choose how and when to enforce mask rules on flights.

Delta has added over 240 people to its no-fly list in recent weeks for refusing to wear a mask. Photo: Delta Air Lines

No-fly list warnings

Although passengers traveling in the US must agree to wear a face mask in order to be given a boarding pass, actually enforcing this rule has proven difficult. Airline officials have previously refused to allow passengers to board if they have no mask in the terminal. Business Insider reported that one flight was taxiing to the runway when two passengers removed their masks. The crew turned the plane back to the gate to remove the passengers. However, once in the air, there is very little cabin crew can do to force passengers to wear a mask.

However, one thing they can do is try to persuade passengers to wear their masks by informing them they risk being unable to fly with the airline again. Delta has been making full use of this by adding around 240 more people to its no-fly list in recent weeks. Masks have been required on Delta flights since May 1st.

In the memo to employees which was seen by Reuters, CEO Ed Bastian said,

Although rare, we continue to put passengers who refuse to follow the required face-covering rules on our no-fly list.”

Other Delta efforts

But Delta doesn’t expect passengers to make all the effort. The airline is doing its fair share to prevent the spread of the disease. It has been blocking middle-seats since the start of May. An MIT study found that in practice, this could decrease the chances of infection while flying from one in 4,300 to one in 7,700.

To convince wary travelers to fly and to reduce infection onboard, Delta will maintain enhanced cleaning routines. Photo: Delta Air Lines

As well as blocking middle seats, Delta has created an entirely new Global Cleanliness team to ensure all Delta planes are as clean as possible. Depending on the size of the aircraft, as many as eight cleaners will perform a pre-flight cleaning routine. The plane must pass an inspection by the gate agent and cabin crew before takeoff. If it isn’t clean enough, the cleaners will return. Delta has said this will happen even if it means delaying the flight.

Safe and clean

Another element of Delta multi-faceted cleaning regime is aircraft lavatories. In an email sent out today, the airline detailed “Five ways Delta is keeping lavatories safe and clean for you.” Cabin crew will now be required to wipe-down surfaces in lavatories during flights to keep them clean. As well as cleaning frequently touched points, Delta will look at making more lavatories touch-free.  The airline did confirm that its “A350s, A330-900neos, 767-400s and 757-200s already have some hands-free features.” 

Delta will continue cleaning aircraft even if it means flights are delayed. Photo: Delta

Additionally, from tomorrow, Delta will begin installing hand-sanitizing stations on its aircraft, beginning with its Boeing 757-200 fleet. Some planes will have as many as five stations onboard to encourage people to keep their hands clean.

Delta says its customer satisfaction numbers have jumped as passengers appreciate the effort the airline has gone to keep everything clean. No doubt, the airline is hoping this vote of confidence will translate to its financial figures for the next quarter.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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Six Months Later: India Finally Outlines Plan For Inflight WiFi

Almost six months since India reversed its ban on using WiFi on a plane, the nation’s civil aviation…

Six Months Later: India Finally Outlines Plan For Inflight WiFi

Almost six months since India reversed its ban on using WiFi on a plane, the nation’s civil aviation regulator has finally outlined its rules for allowing inflight connectivity. The draft rules are fairly standard and should be passed without issue. It is hoped they will be formally adopted by the end of the year.

Once the rules are in place, airlines like Vistara will finally be able to offer WiFi over India. Photo: Getty

Despite two Indian airlines flying WiFi capable aircraft, neither has so far been able to use WiFi in Indian airspace, as the rules have not been released. Vistara’s A321 and its Boeing 787 have WiFi capability, as does SpiceJet on its 737 MAX. Both are involved in domestic and international flying right now as part of Vande Bharat and using India’s established travel bubbles.

Now, it seems we’re on the road to being able to make use of this inflight connectivity over India. The draft rules, published this week and reported by the Times of India, are open for public consultation for some weeks. Depending on the outcome of this consultation, the rules could be firmed up and issued later this year.

Outline of the rules

At first glance, the rules seem pretty much in line with what we would expect. DGCA chief Arun Kumar issued the rules this week and will apply to all Indian civil registered aircraft and to all Indian operators engaged in scheduled, non-scheduled and private operations.

The draft rules state that the internet service should not be available until after 3,000 meters above the departure airfield. This is as was recommended by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) back in 2018.

SpiceJet 737 MAX
SpiceJet’s MAX aircraft are also WiFi equipped, although they are currently grounded. Photo: Boeing

The DGCA also states that portable electronic devices (PEDs) should only be used in ‘airplane mode’ and that the pilot in command may, at and time of flight and for any reason, decide to deactivate the connectivity.

The DGCA also wishes to maintain oversight of the inflight connectivity happening in its airspace. It says that the aircraft will need to be approved by the regulator for WiFi functions and that the operator must ensure that they only used an internet service provider (ISP) that is approved by the Department of Transport.

A more unusual inclusion of the WiFi rules is that the DGCA asks operators to carry out a risk assessment of all the PEDs capable of using the WiFi. It says this must include the hazards associated with PEDs in various aircraft zones, in different stages of the flight and during unusual circumstances such as turbulence. Presumably, this will only need to be done once, and not before every flight.

Vistara’s A321neo has WiFi also. Photo: Vistara

Getting set for WiFi

While the rules will take some time to iron out and be officially adopted, that hasn’t stopped India’s airlines from laying the groundwork to get the services off the ground. Last year, Vistara entered into a partnership with NELCO to provide inflight WiFi services, delivered by Panasonic.

With the arrival of its Dreamliner, Vistara became the first Indian airline capable of offering inflight WiFi. With the airline now starting flights to London tomorrow, hopes are high that it will become a flagship international airline operating out of the nation.

This article is brought to you by Simple Flying Connectivity, a new category on Simple Flying dedicated to inflight connectivity. Click here to read all of our inflight connectivity content.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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