Masks have become the new reality of flying during COVID, so much so that Russian flag carrier Aeroflot will now be seating the masked passengers in a different section to the “anti-maskers”.
An internal airline memo, uncovered by View from the Wing, instructs flight attendants to take a strict stance on masks once the doors close: anyone not wearing one sits at the very back of Economy Class.
“On flights with an incomplete passenger load in Economy Class, the booking system will now block the last two rows on the starboard [right] side of Economy.”Internal memo (via Telegram)
In a statement, Aeroflot spokeswoman Yulia Spivakova said that the airline’s lenience is over; passengers must now wear a fitted mask to be welcomed onboard. Any disputes over masks once the final door is closed will simply see passengers sent to the “anti-mask” area.
“Dedicated seats are allocated to passengers who declare their refusal to use masks after (the aircraft’s) doors close.”
Ms Spivakova added that mask rules are already exceptionally tight around the world and although flight bans have not yet been imposed, such measures cannot be ruled-out in the future.
In July, a Southwest Boeing 737 returned to the gate in Denver after a fight broke out between several passengers; including one passenger who alleged that they had a “constitutional right” to abstain from wearing one.
Delta announced in August that they had imposed 250 lifetime bans, these bans were imposed for failure to wear a mask without a legitimate exemption.