A Mask Mandate Is Not An Excuse For Your Disrespect

One of my sisters is a flight attendant. Yesterday we talked about her enforcing mask requirements on her flights. With the CDC’s recommendation, I knew that vaccinated people don’t need to wear masks outdoors or indoors, but we still should cover up on planes, trains, and busses, which would put her in a challenging position.

We happened to be having the mask conversation as my sister was walking down the jetway for a flight from Dallas to Des Moines. She told me,


 “I don’t argue with people. I tell them, ‘Wearing a mask is not a suggestion. It’s not an option. It’s a federal mandate. If this is not the day for you to fly, please let me know, and we can escort you off the plane.’” 

What do travelers usually do at this point, I had to know?

“They put on their masks. I’ve never had a problem.”

What if you’re in the air when the customer un-masks, I wondered.

“That’s a bit trickier. But I still don’t argue. I pull the flight manifest and come back with the person’s name, and I say, “Brian Jones, wearing a mask is not a suggestion, and it’s not an option. I’ve made a note that you’ve refused to wear a mask, and we’re letting the federal government know. And I go on about my business.”

I freakin love it! Who has time to go back and forth with difficult customers? Not my sister. Not me. And not you or your employees. 

When a customer refuses to comply with the policy, that’s a bait tactic. They’re trying to get a reaction from you. If you don’t give it to them, you win.

Try my sister’s tactic. Don’t argue. Don’t get in your feelings. Speak your piece, and go about your business. Whether your business is enforcing a mask requirement, explaining warranty doesn’t cover an issue, or denying a refund, refuse to be thrown off or bothered.

Learn to De-escalate Like My Sister!

My De-escalation Academy is the only training for customer service that not only shows your employees how to redirect verbal aggression and regain control of interactions – but how to get customers to accept their word as final.