American Airlines Bans Wearing Too Much Personal Protection Equipment On Board

American Airlines Bans Wearing Too Much Personal Protection Equipment On Board

This week American Airlines banned a passenger within hours of a mask incident, something that usually requires multiple violations at the carrier. In this case the boarding door had already closed and the jet bridge had been pulled back, when the customer who refused to wear a mask needed to be removed from the aircraft. They weren’t just violating mask rules, they were compromising D0!

However it’s not just passengers refusing to wear personal protection equipment that’s a problem at the airline. It seems another problem is passengers who wear too much. So last week American Airlines sent a memo to its customer care agents on “Prohibited Personal Protection Equipment (PPE).”

There are several items that the airline does not allow, and deems ‘recreational’:

Our customers can be creative when it comes to face coverings. Thanks to your photos and descriptions of customers’ Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), we want to share the types of “recreational” items and PPE that are not allowed on our flights. Specifically:

  • Personal face / body tents
  • Personal face / body pods
  • Personal air purifiers / refreshers
  • Ozone generators

Here are some tips on what to do if you see a customer using any non-approved mask or face shield:

  • Politely remind them of our policy
  • Advise them that these types of PPE are safety concerns, especially tents / pods which can slow access to critical safety procedures, including emergency evacuations and use of oxygen masks

We understand our customers may be concerned about being in close contact with other customers. This is a perfect time to remind them of the steps we’ve taken to keep them safe:

  • Our Clean Commitment was launched to keep every gate area, jetbridge and aircraft clean
  • We’ve begun using new breakthrough SurfaceWise2 spraying solution
  • We require everyone to wear an approved mask or face covering to reduce the risk of virus transmission
  • We also offer extra wipes (where available) for customers to clean the area around them

Body Pod in Delta First Class, Credit: Under The Weather

Rather than banning ‘body pods’ and other protective items, I wonder if an airline might promote safety and generate ancillary revenue at the same time if they sold these items themselves. Then again, like a movie theater, they might still wish to ban customers from bringing their own in order to prevent lower cost competition for sales.


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