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Major Airlines Now Requiring Passengers to Wear Face Masks

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Woman wearing face mask in airplane

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.”


mask hanging on luggage at airport

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.

Keep up with the latest coronavirus updates right here!

Join The Discussion

Comments 100

  1. Britney

    So if you purchase a flight a mask is included are do they expect everyone to bring their own?

    • Amber

      “In many cases, you will be expected to bring your own mask and for anyone who forgets a face mask, they will likely be available for purchase.”

    • Bunny

      Looks like United and American Airlines are providing masks for their passengers. I’m sure in time others will follow suit. It certainly makes sense since travelers will be in tight quarters.

  2. Betty

    Good for them. The people that think masks are silly are going to get so limited on where they can shop and what they can do that they hopefully will end up with nothing to do but comply with common sense. It amazes me that some people lack common sense. I guess if everyone were smart we wouldn’t need some of the free services for people, jails, etc…

    • Crystal

      Maybe some of us who aren’t “complying with common sense” are instead using our common sense to question why masks are being required for healthy people in the general public when they aren’t routinely worn by doctors, nurses, hospital and nursing home staff each and every winter when viral illnesses are at a peak and they are surrounded by the sick and/or elderly???? If masks were that effective at virus control, wouldn’t they be required accessories at the entrance to every medical facility year round? Why wouldn’t we all wear one every winter to keep the 60,000-90,000 folks that annually die of the flu alive? Your premise that non-mask wearers are ignorant or criminal is flawed and insulting. Some of us have thought long and hard about it.

      • Emily

        But they are routinely worn by medical professionals during cold/flu season? At least where I am from… and the minute anyone answers “yes” to any screener question at the doctor’s office they’re given a mask in normal times even if they aren’t exhibiting any symptoms.

        My question for you is how does wearing a mask hurt you in any way?

        • lezers05

          My question is why are we now being told to wear a mask when the rates are starting to slow? If a mask would have kept us all more safe from the beginning why didn’t we do that instead of closing down the economy and letting millions and millions of people suffer long term effects? It makes no sense.

          • Rebecca

            Where I live, we have 1/3 more people this wk in the hospital with this than last wk. It’s not slowing everywhere yet. And still, our governor is opening up some things on Monday…seems like a great idea. Our county had already decided to stay shut down til mid-May at least, until the governor announced this.

          • shey59

            Thanks democrats

            • Deb

              Yes Shey instead of coming together and being part of the solution you should do nothing more then throw out dumb little political swings. Your mom must be proud.

              • Melissa

                Well it’s really the leftwing media that is causing such a stir. Since the beginning of civilization people have interacted closer than 6′ from each other and now suddenly the world is coming to an end because of the Wuhan Flu? Come on people, think for yourself. Are you not smart enough to stay home if you’re ill or if your immune system is poor to take extra precautions? This isn’t new information and the major of people are recovering from this virus. There is a political agenda to get Donald Trump out of the White House in November because he’s actually caused our country to thrive. Heaven forbid America be the land of the free! The socialistic democrats can’t handle it and want the country to come crumbling down so they can get citizen on board with their socialistic plans. Don’t fall for it!

          • M

            I feel like I am suffocating when I wear the mask in the grocery store
            I can’t breath and I have tried multiple styles.

        • ka22t

          Well let me Try to answer that. It is proven that first off they do not protect you or me. Medical professionals have fitted masks and have been instructed on using them. Most regular people do not know. First off they give you a false sense of security and you take more risks with them. People touch their face way more with a mask on. They are not sealed around most face and coughs and sneezes come out anyway or stick to the mask. If you have facial hear the seal is broken and again makes it useless. Virus’s/bacteria stay on cloth way longer then on skin so you touch your mask to take off and now everything is again contaminated. When they get wet with humidity and breath now they are a breading ground for germs. Some people have asthma, copd, Are autistic, claustrophobia and cannot wear then without health consequences. You dont know everyones story just by looking at them. So dont judge. Back in march both ohios health director and the U.S. surgeon general both said do not buy masks they do not work. As well as many doctors nurses etc. But now they want to give people this false sense of security and its this big thing. If you want to wear it great. You can risk your health and mine but if i choose not too i should have that same right. So just use personal hygiene and keep washing your hands and if you are that scared you should just stay home.

          • ashley

            This is why the best thing would have been for people to not go out. This virus has a transmissablility rate far greater than the flu or other virus’. Since it is a virus, not a bacteria, it needs a new ‘host’ to spread (hence staying in starves the virus of new hosts). Since people can’t (or wont) stay home this was a way to slow the spread of individuals saliva (expelled through talking,coughs,etc…). Again, people need to be EDUCATED on mask wearing, sanitation, etc. but it definitely is not NEARLY as helpful as it would have been id we could have ‘starved’ (in effect) the virus. …Yes, I am in healthcare if you were wondering

            • Kristi

              EXCELLENT COMMENT!! The way you explain the details in simple terms shouldn’t be too difficult for “most” people to understand.
              It’s unfortunate that thousands of people didn’t take this pandemic seriously in the beginning. Now, thousands of people have died for no reason! I live about 7 miles from the hospital in Washington State where the very first person diagnosed in the US was admitted. He had been visiting Wuhan and brought the virus back with him. He has since recovered, but sadly many others didn’t.

          • MommySpendsLess

            Thank you! I dread the day that these policies become common. I do not have a diagnosed medical condition but I get anxious/panicky/claustrophobic whenever there isn’t enough air circulation. For instance I cannot ride in a car without the fan on or windows open, I cannot handle caves (even the fake theme park ones), I could not wear the mask at the dentist for the relaxing gas. This is has been a consistent reoccurrence for years but I never got it diagnosed because I just avoided situations where these things would occur. My County has had a mask order in place most of the month but thankfully I live on the border so I’ve just been driving a few extra miles to buy groceries. Now I won’t be able to shop at some grocery stores, take a vacation or live a normal life without explaining myself and carrying a doctor’s note?!
            This also seems like a major security hazard.

            • Deb

              I don’t think it’s a big deal to carry a note. You carry a credit card and drivers license most likely. This isn’t going to be forever, just until they can come up with medicine, cures, vaccines. You can do it! If I can wear the mask you can carry a note. Good luck.

      • Lori

        Well said!

      • Kim

        *didn’t

        • Mere

          Go off Kim!!!! Love it

      • Scott

        I ❤️Kim

      • stephanie323

        As a healthcare professional let me just say that this is a completely different situation. We’ve been dealing with the flu for generations. We’re familiar with it and have an effective vaccine for it. This virus is very different and unknown. We’re learning new things about it all the time and we don’t have any built up immunities to it. Wearing a mask in public settings is common sense. And for the record, if you visit any hospital during the flu season with signs of respiratory illness you will be given a mask to wear. This is just being considerate to the other travelers and the employees servicing you and anyone fighting this should not be allowed to travel in an enclosed vessel with others that are following protocol.

        • Ally

          You are not even listening to what you are saying, if signs of respiratory illness then mask is required. Not for everyone all the time, so why make that comparison
          Plus the fact that reciclycing or reusing mask could be more dangerous that not wearing one is not even being considered, the spread of infection can be after you touch any of the surfaces of the mask and then touch other objects or people. Because let’s be honest, is everyone disposing masks correctly and changing them frequently, no, masks and gloves are everywhere in the streets now, and people are reusing same mask as availability and money is now scarce, not even in hospitals right now, that is why healthcare professionals are getting the virus too.
          And to say that you may remove the mask to eat during the flight, so then if there was a protection, that is where it ends and the perfect window to spread…so it does not sound like a great plan
          The airlines that will not provide for the mask free are just greedy, if it is so essential to have one, and not provide it with purchase of ticket is like asking customer to bring toilet paper for bathroom….

        • ashley

          YES! Thank you

          • ann

            and my reply was to Stephanie

      • Margaret

        But how do you know that you are healthy? So many people infected with the virus are asymptomatic AND can still spread the virus to others. I assume you are not being tested for COVID every single day to know if you carry it or not. So ignorant to compare this to the flu.

        • Kristi

          Well said!!

        • Amber

          You can be asymptomatic with the flu and thousands of other viruses. This isn’t some new found scientific breakthrough.

      • ME2016

        Thousands (millions in reality) of people are working around without symptoms and spreading the virus. A mask protects everyone for this novel virus. My doctor’s office requires masks during regular flu season if we’re having a particularly bad season and that’s just the regular flu, for this one we have NO immunity or vaccine so besides physical distancing masks are essential.

        As to the “IF masks were…” look at South Korea, Japan, Singapore & Taiwan all countries requiring masks (& democratic countries) with very low transmission rates proving masks work.

      • Deb

        Hey Crystal if you had the power to possibly save a life, let’s say your grandmas, from doing CPR, or giving blood you would do it right? It’s just a mask and it’s not forever, but it could save grandmas life, it’s really not that hard. I mean you don’t live in a plane or at stores right?

  3. Liz

    So now all the conspiracy theorists will not be going to Costco, flying airlines…..hopefully the list will get longer and they can be stuck at home until they wear a mask. These are the same scary ppl who came out in WI and MI with their guns and no masks to scare the law enforcement.

    • Jill

      I was one of the people at the MI capital yesterday. In no way was law enforcement scared of any of the people there whether they had guns or not. We were exercising our rights to assemble and protest gross overreach of our government. (By the way, it is legal to carry a lawfully owned gun in our state in the open, even in the capital building, as long as it is done openly and with lawful intent.)

      We have 3 branches of government in this nation as a system of checks and balances. However, our current governor is behaving as though she is the lone government leader (more like a dictator). As to masks, why in the world would we wear a mask when we were in the wide open out-of-doors. As for those that were inside without a mask, that is their choice to make. Sooner or later all of us will be exposed to the virus like we are all exposed to other viruses each year. The stay-at-home orders were to slow down the spread not make the virus disappear.

      • Ms

        Just a thought… just because you’re outdoor, can’t people accidentally sneeze and droplets end up on you? Wearing a mask/face covering will minimize the risk of other people getting sick.

      • Amber

        I’m from WI. The people who protested fully support law enforcement and follow the constitution. You either are lying or are clueless about what actually occurred. Either way, the fact that you need to label people ‘conspiracy theorist’ and lie about their actions to dismiss their viewpoint means you don’t have any way to back your stance. Let’s be honest. You think everyone should be forced the government says to do because you don’t want to have to think for yourself. Guaranteed the minute the government said face masks were bad for you banned, you shrug and shove your beloved mask in the back of a closet.

      • Alecia_D

        Jill–
        Thank you for going yesterday and representing Michiganders.
        I wasn’t able to go but supported you all 100%
        Our constitution isn’t invalid because of a virus.

        • Jill

          Thanks Alecia. It felt so good to be with other people who understand what is really at stake here. Gave my husband and I hope that all is not lost!

      • Amy

        I am glad you just admitted to being part of the problem. You say the news is causing fear, you are doing the exact same thing. You are not exercising your freedoms, you are “testing” them. You are the people that need something now or never. You believe you deserve everything, while yelling at those who need food stamps or want to come here to work. YOU are putting people in danger. Not enough is known about this virus for you to think you are holier than science. And why guns? why do you feel the need to show them off? It’s not bc of your right to carry its to act bigger and scarier. I hope you all gave your stimulus check back if you think your rights were so compromised. I also hope you vote differently, bc obviously the government you voted in, hasn’t been doing it’s job. Do not try to blame it on the media. Learn respect, know that sometimes freedom isn’t free and you need to make compromises. Learn that screaming and shouting to get your way is not the right idea.

        • snezhinka

          Thanks, 100% agree.

        • SLS

          Well said Amy!

          I live in Michigan, am not near Lansing, and yet just the images of people invading the capital with guns was terrifying, all because you don’t feel you should comply with orders to help everyone, not just yourself. The people who showed up in Lansing over the past couple of weeks to protest are terrorists and should be discussed as such. Why are your needs above everyone elses?

          • StephB

            Terrorists?! Really?! 🙄Oh please! It’s their right as US citizens to protest! And rightfully so!

          • Amber

            Yeah, nothing bad has ever happened when citizens gave up their rights to bear arms and fully complied with government orders for the good of the people. I mean, seriously? Read a book.

            • IB

              The blind faith in our government is insane at times.

            • Deb

              This has nothing at all to do with the right to bear arms to begin with. Just a basic bunch of thugs showing off. Before you go off yes I believe in the right to have arms. Do I think they needed to have a “show” so you could protest masks and not opening things as fast as you “think” they should be…NO. If you were protesting something about arms then go for it. But you just showed the whole nation that we have trouble makers here.

        • Heidi

          So well said!

        • Deb

          I agree Amy. Well said.

      • StephB

        I feel for you in MI! Your governor is being a dictator indeed!😬 Exercise your right, sister!! Don’t worry about the naysayers!

      • Deb

        Jill I’m also from MI and wow! I was embarrassed that we made the national news because of selfish people like you. As you can see from Michigan polls you are the minority. She is working along with business leaders, medical personal and other governors to come up with the best, safest way to handle this long term. Who have you been researching, talking to, and coming up with the best plan for all? No one right! Seeing you all flock for no re guard for each other is EXACTLY why she has to do what she has to do. Stay home, you’re not a child.

    • Mary

      Well said Liz!

    • Aleigha

      Lol, trust me they did not scare law enforcement. Usually those people are extremely supportive of law enforcement.

  4. Ed

    It protects everyone. My state (IL) requires all people in public (6 ft) to wear a mask starting today. I am an essential worker & it was a bit difficult this morning but everyone felt safer once you got used to it.

  5. cristinimartini

    So wear a mask because it’s not safe for anyone until you need to eat, then don’t wear a mask, because it’s now safe. To eat. I have no plans to get a plane anytime soon and I traveled extensively for work. We don’t call it a Flu Tube for no reason, and this virus is even worse. I wonder how long it will be before they start removing seats so there’s some more distance between people on planes.

  6. Mary

    I am so thankful to these airlines for doing this. It protects everyone. This should be the new norm and not just on airlines but everywhere we go. Those throwing a fit about having to wear one…. just stay home. It’s that simple.

    • lezers05

      It’s also just as simple to Say, if you’re paranoid about getting sick stay home.

      • 5pink1blue

        Yes!

      • ann

        That’s not different than saying if you dont want to wear a mask just don’t go out. According to your reasoning we shouldn’t have to wear any clothing.

  7. Blessed

    Let’s take each informative post as information. Thank for info Hip2Save. I probably shouldn’t read comments on these post. It makes me so sad. (As I am being a hypocrite by my last comment) But to Hip2Save moderators in my personal humble opinion it may be a service to just not allow post and reduce the spread of miss information. People are free to say whatever they want but this is your platform. Thanks for all you do ❤️

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      You’re very welcome, Blessed. Thank YOU for taking a moment to share your thoughts with us. We truly appreciate hearing from you. I’ll be sure to pass this along to the team.

  8. queen62

    What’s the big deal with wearing what is required. If your job required it in order for you to return to work you would be happy to have the opportunity to return to your job. Don’t wear it and stay home.

    • Selah

      Because the reason its required doesn’t back the data that’s being presented. There’s a difference between weighing the risks and benefits of wearing a mask to keep your job/income and wearing a mask as a requirement to pay your hard earned money to someone else for a service.

      • ashley

        If your wearing a mask helps to protect the worker from getting sick so they may be able to to continue to do their job for you isn’t that good?

        • Selah

          If I have to wear a mask in order for the workers’ masks to work, they probably don’t work very well in the first place.

          • ann

            You did not read what I wrote. Please re-read it. You may have read it wanting it to say what you replied to, but that is not what I said.

    • Deb

      Exactly.

  9. IB

    Airlines are struggling…American may go bankrupt. And now they’re telling passengers to be safe on their planes, they need to wear masks. I get safety, but this will backfire. This is not the way to get people back flying.

    • Deb

      Or it’s exactly how people will feel comfortable flying. I’ve already seen a few flights where people complained about the flight being full and people didn’t have them on…so it goes both ways. Better safe than sorry when in a confined space until they get a vaccine.

  10. michele

    if wearing a mask prevents me from getting sick and dying then I will wear it. I am in a state where over 6000 people have died in the last 40 days !!!

    everyone else can do what they please..

    You are free to take your chances. The strong and wise will survive this… a gun cannot protect you

    • ashley

      A mask helps protect others. If we all wear them, we protect eachother.

      • michele

        EXACTLY .. we do live in a free country so people can decide for themselves. I will because why not ? I am Free to be intelligent and save myself

        • ann

          =) !!!

        • D

          Seems like the people on here o more than happy to give up all our rights, including the 2A. That’s scary.

  11. Rachael H

    I’m curious what will happen if my 4 year old melts down over not wanting to wear a mask. Any thoughts on the masks with children?

    • Rae

      I don’t know If they will require small children to. I know the CDC says not to put them on babies and toddlers under two because of suffocation hazard.

    • ann

      My boys had a hard time getting used ro car seats. … maybe just do it for a second , then increase the time? I wish I could offer more guidance

  12. michele

    now up to 7538 deaths, I know for many this is not YOUR STATE. Just wait , your turn will come. Do yourself a favor and wear a mask, wash your hands, wear gloves.

  13. Kelly

    You know, as I read these it makes me really pause to reflect on how this pandemic has effected everyone so very differently. I think everyone is entitled to their opinion and should feel however they need to get through this. However, its crucial that we be kind to each other, now more than ever. Whether you agree with wearing a mask or not. please remember to be kind and be grateful for each day and each moment. Life can change so quickly and to get through this we must support one another.

    • Dana

      Yes 👏

    • Ally

      Yes I agree, we need more compassion and to put ourselves in the others shoes, we are all humans with families, problems and responsabilities, young and old, poor and rich, we are the same, no one is above.
      Just hope this new regulations have this in mind and we do not hear in the future that people are fined, arrested or not allowed to get into a flight they paid because they did not want to wear a mask, or did not want to pay extra for it, or could not wear it because they got panic attacks from the feeling of entrapment it gives, etc.

    • michele

      I share my wisdom with kindness and respect. my state regular flu death rate was 1000 over four months. the number from coronavirus would be 19,500 in the same four month period for my state.

  14. adria

    I’m glad more companies are doing this.

  15. edwards6

    In response to Emily. Your question how does a mask hurt you anyway?Wearing a mask breaks down your immune system as does quarantining us. People who are healthy should have the choice to get/fight this virus “naturally” and those worried about it stay continue to stay home.

    • ann

      Hi Edward. I need to know where I can find that information. Our newspaper here says that’s not accurate information so before I post it, I need a valid medical source to quote.

    • Marie

      I don’t know about you, but I’ve heard of quite a few people who were perfectly healthy with no underlying health issues, who became near fatally sick from covid-19. Now I also agree people should be allowed to make the choice for themselves, but please don’t think that you know or understand how this virus/disease works or how your own perfectly healthy body would react to it.

    • Doug

      Herd immunity. Our bodies build up immunity when exposed to a virus, etc. So if you are healthy, not wearing a mask will benefit you in the long run.

      • Mike

        May be the only answer .

      • Emily

        Doug, I think your describing your immune system response not herd immunity. Herd immunity is when enough people have had exposure to a virus that infection rates are low because not many people can get sick. Think about diseases that are commonly vaccinated against (example:measles) and how infection rates are so low that even imnunocompromised people who can’t get a shot (example:a kid with leukemia) are at a low risk of getting sick. I don’t see how this would apply to a novel virus.

      • Deb

        Then stop washing your hands too. Good luck !

    • queen62

      Sure go out there and catch the virus that they are learning more about each day. This virus is deadly I hope you can fight it. Stop thinking it is the flu which they have a vaccine for. The unknown ccovid19 has killed 60,000 + so far.

      • Selah

        The 60,000 stat is padded. A variety of other causes of deaths have miraculously decreased during this time. There have been professionals coming forward saying that no matter the cause of death, covid was to be listed on death certificates. There’s other experts saying the models were way off and the virus, in terms of mortality rate, is very comparable to the flu.

      • Heather

        They have a vaccine for the flu but guess what… thousands of people a year get it and some die from it!!

  16. edwards6

    This video has been banned. These doctors make a lot of sense. Also, I follow Dennis Michael Lynch. I’m not sure what you meant but by “natural” I wasn’t quoting anyone.

  17. King

    I think alot of people unfortunately still do not grasp the term asymptomatic. The mask can protect people from you before you find out you are sick. Because with this virus this period can last 2 weeks.

  18. E

    Do any airlines have exemptions for kids? My 2 yr old won’t leave a mask on because he’s little and my 5 yr old has sensory issues and a 10 hour flight with her screaming about a mask would be miserable. And any information on how long they will keep these policies in place? We aren’t traveling anytime soon, but likely will early next year. Blanket mask rules like this are very concerning because parents with small children will likely be punished/not allowed because the kids won’t wear a mask. My 7 yr old wears his just fine— no sensory issues and he is older. My husband and I wear ours when out in public as well.

    • jennybaugh

      Hi, E. I feel your pain. Getting my kids to leave their shirt or shoes on is hard enough, let alone an uncomfortable mask which inhibits oxygen flow! It is within your rights to say your child has a medical condition and cannot wear a mask. Because of Hippa laws, they cannot ask you any further questions.

  19. Debby

    A lot of us are unable to wear masks for medical reasons but I do appreciate all of the “Karensplaining” of information from people on here. I’m pretty sure we are all adults, we’re all Americans and we’re all taxpayers. Please do not be condescending and rude to other people for not believing what you do. You are infringing on peoples rights. Keep in your own lane and do not jam your rhetoric down other people’s throats or shame them.

    • ashley

      If you are possibly endangering someone … (which it is proven to be the case) by not wearing one … please refer to recent medical professionals as a source for information. The latest finding (at my hospital) is patients in their 30’s and 40’s with no health conditions and no covid 19 symptoms having strokes (then we test them and they have covid 19). Tjis virus is not like anything we’ve seen before.

  20. Heather

    Just another reason to drive the car 🙂

  21. Karena

    Thanks to Hip2Save for keeping us up-to-date. I’m a Karen who’s high risk and lives in New York. If more people had first-hand experiences with this virus, maybe they would agree with expert advice on social distancing and masks.

    • ashley

      I second that!

    • michele

      I am in NJ and feel the same way

  22. adria

    Exactly

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