Major Airlines Now Requiring Passengers to Wear Face Masks
Is this the new normal for travel?
When air travelers eventually return to the country’s airports, they will notice some big changes meant to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Passengers will be screened for fevers, plexiglass shields will separate them from security screeners, and the widespread use of face masks will become commonplace.
“Wearing a face covering isn’t about protecting yourself – it’s about protecting those around you,” said Joanna Geraghty, JetBlue’s president and operating chief in a statement. “This is the new flying etiquette.”
Not only will face masks become a common aspect of air travel, but they are already being required by some domestic airlines.
In many cases, you will be expected to bring your own mask and for anyone who forgets a face mask, they should be available at the airport (note that there may be a charge).
These major carriers in the US have already put policies into place regarding the use of face masks:
- Alaska and Horizon – Face masks will be mandatory for guests starting May 11 and for Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air employees who cannot maintain six feet of social distance from guests or co-workers, starting May 4.
- American – The airline is already distributing masks, sanitizing gel, and disinfectant wipes to passengers. Effective May 11, passengers will be required to wear face masks. Flight attendants are already required to wear them.
- Delta – Effective May 4, face masks will be mandatory from the time passengers check in through the time they deplane, with the exception of meal service. Masks will also be required in Sky Club lounges. Flight attendants are already wearing masks.
- Frontier – Beginning May 8, all Frontier customers will be required to wear a mask throughout their entire journey. This will include all ticket counters and gate areas too.
- JetBlue – Effective May 4, face masks will be mandatory from the time passengers check in through the time they deplane. All JetBlue crewmembers now wear face masks in public.
- Southwest – Face coverings or masks will be required for customers starting May 11. Masks will be available for anyone who fails to bring their own
- United – Effective May 4, passengers will be provided with the required face coverings. Pilots, flight attendants, customer service agents, and ramp workers are already wearing masks.