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These Airlines Still Require Masks In 2023

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Which airlines still require masks in 2023? Most airlines dropped their mask requirements in early 2022, starting with airlines in Scandinavia and the United Kingdom. On April 18, 2022, a federal judge in Florida struck down the U.S. airline mask mandate that had been in place for more than two years.

Man wearing a mask on airplane

Throughout the spring and summer, mask mandates on other airlines fell like dominoes, and even holdouts like Mexico eventually ended the requirement to wear a mask on flights in the fall.

But going into 2023, a number of airlines around the world still require passengers to wear masks on flights.

Additionally, even airlines that do not have a mask mandate may require passengers to wear a mask if their country of origin or final destination requires it.

Woman wearing mask on airplane

These are some of the airlines that still require masks in 2023. Note that this is not an exhaustive list, but contains some of the more popular airlines that still require masks.

1) Iberia

Iberia is one of the few airlines in Europe that is still requiring masks for passengers.

This Spanish airline still requires that all travelers over the age of six wear a mask onboard their flights.

Iberia flies to destinations in Europe, North America, and South America, and carries more than 20 million passengers per year.

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iberian plane

2) Vueling

Vueling is another Spanish airline that still requires masks on all flights originating in or flying to Spain and Portugal.

For passengers aged six and up, masks continue to be a requirement on these Vueling flights.

3) Copa Airlines

Copa Airlines is one of the most popular airlines in Latin America, with over 295 routes around North America, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean.

This airline, which is based in Panama, still requires that all passengers over the age of two wear masks onboard.

Copa Airlines plane

4) Cathay Pacific

Cathay Pacific is the flagship carrier of Hong Kong and one of several Asian airlines still requiring passengers to wear masks onboard all flights.

This airline operates flights from Asia to destinations around the world and requires that all passengers over the age of two wear a mask for the duration of their flight.

Cathay pacific airplane on runway

5) Japan Airlines

Japan is a country that never had a legally-enforced mask mandate in place, but where people voluntarily wore masks with near-100% compliance (and continue to voluntarily wear masks indoors and outdoors in 2023.)

So it's no surprise that Japan Airlines “kindly asks” that guests wear masks onboard their flights.

While it isn't worded like a mandate on their website, reading the fine print reveals that passengers without a mask may be denied boarding if it is “creating discomfort” for other passengers.

Japan Airlines planes

6) China Eastern Airlines

With some of the strictest and most austere Covid restrictions in the world, it's unsurprising that China Eastern Airlines still requires masks.

China Eastern Airlines is one of the largest airlines in the world by number of passengers, carrying over 150 million people per year to destinations around Asia, Oceania, Europe, and North America.

7) China Southern Airlines

Similarly, passengers on China Southern Airlines, another major Chinese carrier, must continue to wear masks onboard flights as of 2023.

This is another large airline that serves more than 200 destinations in China and abroad that is still mandating masks.

China Southern airplane

Airlines That DON'T Require Masks In 2023

Most major airlines around the world have dropped mask mandates as of 2023.

Some of the biggest airlines that do NOT require masks (except in limited cases where the country of origin or final destination may require it) are:

  • Delta Air Lines
  • American Airlines
  • United Airlines
  • Southwest Airlines
  • Spirit Airlines
  • JetBlue Airways
  • Air France
  • Lufthansa
  • Turkish Airlines
  • Ryanair
  • Easyjet
  • Qatar Airways
  • Emirates

As always, be sure to check ahead of your flight to see the latest restrictions and rules for flying.

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Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


Suki

Saturday 18th of March 2023

It has been long known by doctors working in TB wards that masks that let air through them do not block viruses. The virus is tiny compared to the openings in the paper or fabric, much like a car going through a 747 hangar's door. Surgeons wear them so they do not accidentally cough or sneeze into an open hole in a patient, which would be bad.

Doctors know masks drop the oxygen levels in the blood, stressing the body & weakening the immune system, which is the opposite of what one wants when there is a new 'bug' going around.

Last year the Pilot announced that the air in the plane is from the super-heated compressed air in the jet engines (thus sterilized) & changed every 30 seconds in the cabin, so some of the cleanest air around, implying he thought the mask rule on flights was ridiculous, but that we must still follow it [...to humor the Overlords].

It is reasonable for someone who is sick & coughing or sneezing to wear one to keep the flem from flying, but light exposure is what gently builds and strengthens the body's own immune system against the latest bugs and variants, and has worked well for millions of years; up until the 1950s with the advent of chemically-preserved foods, 'Frankenfoods',synthetic chemical-based 'patent' medicines and injections (with their fillers, preservatives, colorings, and aluminum adjuvants) greatly raising the toxin load in our bodies and weakening the natural immune system.

Countries that let people decide for themselves to mask & kept their economy open did just as well or better in terms of those hospitalized per 100,000 people than those with the strictist rules

So the whole masking of everyone and not just the sick is 99.9% politically-based with no basis in factual unbiased science and a million years of history.

Justin

Monday 8th of May 2023

@Patty,

Is your assumption that masks block outgoing viruses but not incoming ones? I can only guess so, because otherwise there's no need for you to demand that others wear a mask. In other words, if masks work, those "others" you talked about can simply wear one and need not concern themselves with what others do.

As pointed out already, surgeons wear masks to protect patients who are cut open, but doctors don't routinely wear them. It's not the "right" that's the problem here: mask wearing became something of a cult, with nothing more than feelings, particularly self-righteous indignation, to back it up.

Mark Hall

Saturday 25th of March 2023

@Patty, where to begin. It was pointed out to you that medical professionals know that masks don’t work. There are also dozens of studies confirming this. Your pointing to the laughably inflated US Covid statistics is not convincing. Real studies have shown that countries that masked and those that didn’t have largely the same outcomes. It’s not a left right thing. It’s a science thing.

Patty

Tuesday 21st of March 2023

@Suki, masks were always promoted to protect others, not the wearer. As you acknowledged, the mask reduces what one can spew in to populated areas and onto flat surfaces thus reducing the spread. The only thing that made it "political" was the Right maintaining that masks infringed on their freedoms. Well here in the U.S., along with anti-maskers enjoying their "freedoms"..., we all got to enjoy more than double the cases of any other country in the World; more than double the fatalities of any other nation except Brazil (we were only 40% higher than Brazil). The U.S. had 15% of all the cases worldwide, 16% of all covid fatalities worldwide, with only 4.25% of the World's population.

It was made clear early on, that masks were meant to protect others'. Once that message came across, most anti-maskers decided that wearing a mask did not help themselves, so who cared about anybody else. That is why people chose not to wear them. That is why the U.S. lost so many to Covid.

Sorry but hearing this reasoning for masks not working in 2020 and 2021, while I watched people dying around me was bad enough, but seeing your post in March of 2023..., I just can't sit silent.

So wear a mask, or don't. It is obviously your choice. But please stop telling people that they serve no purpose in reducing spread.

Mak

Wednesday 1st of March 2023

Cathay Pacific has dropped its mask requirement.

Felix

Wednesday 15th of February 2023

Is it your understanding that Japan Airlines has loosened their policy regarding "inflight" mask wearing? I understand boarding and departing aircraft, but I've heard inflight may be optional.

Steve

Monday 13th of February 2023

Philippine airlines also still requires it

David

Thursday 29th of June 2023

@Steve, I'm on my way to the Philippines end of July 2023 just looking if the silly mask thing still going on with this airline?

Jen

Saturday 11th of February 2023

What about Aerolineas Argentinas? Do they require masks on board?