Delta Air Lines has implemented a number of safety measures to make guests feel safe during their travels with the airline, including blocking middle seats (even as competing airlines moved towards full capacity), moving back to automatic upgrades, using larger aircraft on higher-demand routes to maintain spacing, and having travelers wear masks.
As a few passengers may not be able to wear masks because of medical reasons, Delta has once again updated its travel safety policies, including a new procedure called “Clearance-to-Fly”. According to their website, customers who cannot wear masks should either consider pushing back their travel plans or prepare for an interview to be exempted from wearing one on-board.
Customers with health conditions or disabilities that explicitly prevent the wearing of a face covering or mask are strongly encouraged to reconsider travel or should be prepared to complete a ‘Clearance-to-Fly’ process prior to departure at the airport. If you require this exemption, please arrive early to complete the process during check-in and avoid missing your flight – this process can take over one hour. Please arrive early to allow additional time.
Any false claims of a disability or health condition to obtain an exemption from wearing a mask or face covering may result in the suspension of travel privileges on any Delta flight for the duration of the mask/face covering requirement.
As noted by TPG, the “Clerance-to-Fly” interview basically consists of a chat with a medical professional via webcam. Passengers who fall in this category are asked to factor in additional time as the process can take up to an hour extra during the check-in process. Delta has partnered with STAT-MD to conduct these interviews. They provide inflight emergency consultation as well as fitness to fly ground screening.
Passengers who fail the interview can either be rescheduled on a later flight or be given a full refund (even on nonrefundable tickets). The new policy should also help eliminate passengers who refuse to wear masks as a personal choice.
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