India to put ‘No Maskers on board’ on ‘No Fly List’. 5 People already got on this list!

Tired of looking at unmasked or chin guarded people on your packed flight? As India picks up on domestic aviation, passengers on domestic airlines frequently find people not sticking with mask discipline on board. A Delhi High Court Judge onboard a Kolkata – Delhi flight of Air India on March 5, 2021, noticed this mask fatigue and talked to the cabin crew only to hear about their helplessness.

a group of people wearing face masks

The judge asked DGCA to empower the airline crews to deal with this situation. DGCA issued a circular to authorise appropriate penalty at the airport and in the aircraft for erring passengers. Here is the circular.

a paper with text on it

a letter to a passenger

If such an erring passenger makes it to the aircraft and refuses to wear a mask, they can be deboarded before take-off. However, suppose the passenger, mid-air, refuses to mask up after sufficient warnings from the flight crew. In that case, the new rules authorise crew onboard to treat them as “unruly passengers”, which essentially allows airline(s) to put them on a no-fly list as per 2017 issued rules. Per the rules, passengers will be barred from flying for anywhere between three months to two years.

Also, we did not have to wait long to see these rules in action.

a white and red airplane on a runway

Air India’s regional arm, Alliance Air, which operates the turboprops for Air India, on Tuesday, March 16, 2021, has put four passengers travelling on the Jammu to Delhi flight, 9I 614, as unruly passengers, and hence, put them on the no-fly list. Reportedly, the four passengers were declared “unruly” after they refused to put on their masks despite repeated requests from the cockpit crew and cabin crew of this flight.

After the flight landed at Delhi Airport, the four passengers were met by the security agencies, and they were handed over to them.

In another case, IndiGo handed over a passenger flying on their flight from Delhi to Goa, who created a ruckus about wearing disposable PPE on board, and then continued to remove her mask while on board. She was handed over to the police on arrival in Goa. AirAsia India offloaded two passengers from its Goa – Mumbai flight for not wearing the PPE before take-off.


Brace for stricter rules as the airlines get a free rein to put passengers on no-fly lists or take other strict steps against passengers who don’t comply with existing regulations on CoVid-19 and fly without masks. The next time you set foot on a domestic flight in India, make sure to keep your nose to chin covered with a mask you bring from home or one that the airline hands you over before you leave the departure gate.

What are your thoughts on the new harsher penalties for not wearing a mask on a plane in India?

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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  1. Since I started flying late last year, I have noticed a steady decline in compliance to masks and shield rules on flights. While most people wore masks and shields when I flew in Oct 2020, on my recent flight in March 2021, only about 10% put on the face shield and there were a few without masks too.
    Agreed that it is inconvenient to wear masks and face shields, but it’s important, and stricter rules are required to be implemented (without being misused).

  2. Having flown within India for over a decade, it’s a shame that flight crew aren’t more respected there. Similar discipline / sanction would benefit passengers if they were enforced in two areas:
    – Mobile phone usage onboard, irrespective of instructions not to
    – The landing game (or how many seconds after the wheels touch down do people unbelt and stand) often under 10secs!
    An incredible nation but the flying experience and basic respect for fellow passengers could be significantly improved to international norms.

  3. Any passenger who refuses cockpit crew / cabin crew instructions is considered an unruly passenger. I feel this rule is fair incase a pax doesnt wear a mask .

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