Alaska Airlines to Issue Yellow Cards as Face Mask Warnings

They say sports are a metaphor for life.

Apparently, it’s also a metaphor for aviation.

Alaska Airlines has announced it will issue a “Yellow Card” warning to passengers who repeatedly refuse to wear a mask or face covering on a flight.

The practice is similar to the sport of soccer, or futbol as it is known outside the United States, in which officials issue a yellow card to players who commit an egregious infraction. It’s a warning that if another foul occurs, the player gets a red card and is thrown out of the game.

The airline said the new policy was “for the safety and health of everyone on board its flights.”

Alaska Airlines wrote that “Our flight crews encounter moments when some travelers disregard or disobey our mask requirement. It creates tension and anxiety for many of our passengers who do have their face coverings on. So, change is needed.”

Starting in early July, flight attendants will be empowered to issue a final notice to any guest who repeatedly refuses to wear a mask or face covering onboard the aircraft. With that warning—in the form of a yellow card handed to them—the guest’s travel with Alaska Airlines will be reviewed and could be suspended for a period of time.

“We take pride in our excellent customer service, a main reason so many of our guests enjoy flying with us. That stays the same,” said Ben Minicucci, Alaska’s president. “We’re counting on both our guests and employees to be considerate of one another to wear face coverings and contribute to our constant effort to keep everyone healthy and safe.”

Exceptions to the policy include children under age 2; anyone with a medical issue that creates trouble breathing; anyone who cannot remove a mask without assistance; or anyone with a disability that prevents wearing a mask.

Masks can be temporarily adjusted to eat and drink while in your seat.

The announcement comes on the heels of Alaska’s introduction of a ‘next level’ of cleaning and sanitization.

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