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Starting Aug. 7, Alaska Airlines will require all passengers to wear a cloth mask or face covering

 Alaska Airlines Plane
Alaska Airlines Plane (KTVF)
Published: Aug. 5, 2020 at 6:25 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Alaska Airlines is strengthening its face-covering policy.

Starting Aug. 7, all passengers over the age of 2 will be required to wear a cloth mask or face covering over their nose and mouth with no exceptions.

The airline says since the mask enforcement policy was put in place back in May, " the overwhelming majority of guests have respected the requirement – and many guests have raised concerns about the few who do not.”

The cloth mask or face covering are required at all times when at the airport or onboard Alaska aircraft.

In late June, the airline says flight attendants started to issue “final notices” to any guest who repeatedly disregards the requirement to wear a mask while onboard. Moving forward, the airline says if a passenger doesn’t follow the policy, even after getting the final notice, “his or her travel with Alaska will be suspended immediately upon landing.” This means the rest of their trip, including connecting or return flights, will be canceled. This also includes any future trips the guest has booked. A full refund will be available for any unused travel.

Alaska Airlines says it will then be up to the passenger to make their own travel arrangements from that point.

“We all need to look out for each other during this health emergency, and the best way we can do that – and prevent the spread of the virus – is to simply wear a mask or face covering when we’re around each other,” said Max Tidwell, Alaska Airlines’ vice president of safety and security. “Safety remains priority number one for Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air. Our tougher policy shows how important this issue is to us and our guests. If you don’t wear a mask, you won’t be flying with us.”

If you forget your mask, no worries, Alaska Airlines will have them available upon request along with hand-sanitizer wipes on board.

The announcement of the strengthen face-covering policy comes a day after it was announced Alaska Airlines may cut over 300 Alaska employees this fall due to COVID-19.

In total, Alaska Airlines says 4,200 employees across its operations may be furloughed or laid off beginning in October.

Copyright 2020 KTUU. All rights reserved.

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