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Here’s What U.S. Airlines Are Saying About The Mask Mandate Removal

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The USA Removes Masks On Public Transport 

A federal judge in Florida overturned the U.S. government’s ongoing mask mandate on all public transport, including buses, trains, and airplanes on Monday.

Many people were delighted at the news, while others thought the change came at the wrong time.

A Biden administration official first said: “Today’s court decision means CDC’s public transportation masking order is not in effect at this time,”

“Therefore, TSA will not enforce its Security Directives and Emergency Amendment requiring mask use on public transportation and transportation hubs at this time,”

However, yesterday afternoon the Biden administration said it will likely appeal the federal judge’s ruling that removed mask mandates on planes, saying the appeal will be “subject to CDC’s conclusion that the order remains necessary for public health.”

Some people were incredibly disgruntled, with many airline passengers taking to Twitter to voice their concerns about the abrupt removal mid-flight, as they felt no option was given to them to make different choices about their travel safety that day.

Although all U.S.-based airlines had different styles and timelines for announcing the removals of mandatory masks, all carriers did make it public masks were now optional on their flights.

Here’s A Recap Of What U.S. Airlines Have Said:

1. Delta 

Delta Airlines announced the end of its mask mandate on flights on April 18, 2022; however, they updated their press release on April 19, 2022, for ‘clarity and accuracy.’ The airline called COVID-19 seasonal flu on April 18 before editing the article on April 19. 

The statement said: “Delta employees and customers may continue wearing masks if they so choose. Wearing a well-fitting mask –  such as a KN95 – protects the wearer, even if others around them are not wearing masks, according to our Chief Health Officer Dr. Henry Ting.”

They added: “We are relieved to see the U.S. mask mandate lift to facilitate global travel as COVID-19 transitions to a more manageable respiratory virus – with better treatments, vaccines, and other scientific measures to prevent serious illness.”

2. United Airlines

United Airlines Aircraft Taking Off

United Airlines was one of the first airlines to remove the mask mandate following the judge’s ruling. The airline tweeted: “Masks are no longer required on domestic flights, select international flights (dependent upon the arrival country’s requirements), or at U.S. airports. More comfortable keeping yours on? Go right ahead… the choice is yours (you look dino-mite either way)!”

The airline shared two photos of the 72-foot-long Brachiosaurus skeleton at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago—where United Airlines is headquartered. One picture had the Brachiosaurus skeleton with a mask and one without. All in all, the airline seemed delighted at the news. 

3. Southwest Airlines 

Southwest Airlines removed its mask mandate for all travelers on Monday. They also welcomed passengers to make their own decision on whether to wear masks. The airline said in a statement: “We encourage individuals to make the best decision to support their personal wellbeing and to check local airport mask policies when traveling,”

The airline said its planes have additional layers of protection to keep passengers and employees safe, such as HEPA filters that remove 99.7% of airborne particles.

4. American Airlines 

American Airlines was one of the first airlines to remove the mask mandate; the airline said customers can still wear face masks if they choose. The airline also thanked its staff for enforcing the mask mandate since January 2021. 

They said: “American Airlines has prioritized the health and safety of its team members and customers throughout the pandemic and has supported the federal government’s measures to slow the spread of COVID-19,”

“We are deeply grateful to our team members for their enforcement of the mandate, and will share more information about this transition in the coming days.”

5. Hawaiian Airlines 

Hawaiian airlines—the largest operator of flights in Hawaii—said it was removing its mask mandate shortly after midnight on Tuesday. The statement said: “Face coverings are now optional for Spirit Team Members and Guests onboarded our flights following the federal court ruling and TSA guidance,”

They added: “We understand some Guests may want to continue to wear face coverings on flights, and that’s perfectly fine under our optional policy.”

6. Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airlines was one of the last airlines to remove the mask mandate. On Twitter, the airline said: “Face coverings are now optional for Spirit Team Members and Guests onboarded our flights following the federal court ruling and TSA guidance,”

They added: “We understand some Guests may want to continue to wear face coverings on flights, and that’s perfectly fine under our optional policy.”

7. JetBlue Airways 

On Monday night, JetBlue said it was removing its mask mandate and making masks optional for all passengers. A statement read: “While no longer required, customers and crew members are welcome to continue wearing masks in our terminals and onboard our aircraft,”

The airline also said all passengers should travel with masks in case the destination they’re visiting requires masks on arrival, which is still the case in many international destinations. 

8. Frontier Airlines 

Frontier Airlines were one of the last airlines to remove the mask mandate on Tuesday morning. They tweeted: “Masks are now optional on domestic flights, however, certain airports or countries may still require masks, so check the policy at your destination prior to departure and we’ll see you in the sky.”

They added: “To mask or not to mask, the choice is yours,”

9. Alaska Airlines 

Alaska airlines aircraft in the sky

Alaska Airlines announced an end to its mask mandate on Monday—making them one of the first U.S. airlines to remove the mask mandate. Their statement said: “Face masks have been like boarding passes for nearly two years — you couldn’t fly without one,”

“But, as of today, masks are optional in airports and onboard aircraft, effective immediately.”

Alaska Airlines asked customers to show kindness to those who still wish to wear face masks on planes: “Above all, we hope you’ll treat each other with kindness and respect throughout the travel journey and beyond.”

Read More:

Masks Officially No Longer Required On Planes in the U.S.

Travel Insurance That Covers Covid-19 In 2022

Cancun Ranked As The Most Popular Destination For U.S. Travelers This Summer

Traveler Alert: Don’t Forget Travel Insurance For Your Next Trip!

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com


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Atlas

Thursday 21st of April 2022

One time I had an FA tell me I need to take larger sips of water and finish it faster, because taking small sips means I have to take down my mask more frequently. I like how FAs make up their own rules.

Stephen White

Thursday 21st of April 2022

@Atlas, I once was talking with someone online about how I deliberately ate and drank slowly so as to maximize the amount of time my mask was down. When she attempted to accuse me of deliberately killing people (Good Lord, what is wrong with people?), I had some choice words for her which I won't repeat here. ;-)

Dondonsurplage

Wednesday 20th of April 2022

No where in the judgement does it say you cannot wear a mask. If you are wearing a mask, aren't you safe? Oh that's right the masks aren't for safety but for virtue signaling.

AyL

Wednesday 20th of April 2022

hilarious how once airlines used masks as a way to power-trip and bash people to feel superior and now they welcome the news