Tourism April 20, 2022 | 3:04 pm

Masks are now optional on major US airlines

After a federal judge in Florida struck down the Biden administration’s mask mandate for airplanes and other methods of public transportation, airlines are beginning to act.

For this reason, several US airlines announced that masks are now optional on their planes: Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and JetBlue.

Delta Air Lines said it will make masks optional and warned travelers “may experience inconsistent application over the next 24 hours as this news is communicated more widely.”

“Given the unexpected nature of this announcement, please note that customers, airline employees, and employees of federal agencies, such as the TSA, may receive this information at different times,” the airline said.

Meanwhile, United Airlines said that “masks are no longer required at United on domestic flights, select international flights (depending on arrival country’s mask requirements), or at US airports.”

For its part, Alaska Airlines stated that masks are now optional and asked passengers to be considerate.

“While we are pleased that this means many of us can see your smiling faces, we understand that some may have mixed feelings,” the airline posted.

“Remember to be nice to each other and that wearing a mask while traveling is still an option,” he added.

American Airlines said, “face masks will no longer be required for our customers and team members at US airports and domestic flights.”

Please note that face masks may still be required depending on local ordinances or when traveling to/from certain international locations depending on country requirements.

Alaska Airlines said some of its passengers barred from the airline during the mask policy would continue to be barred from its planes.

Southwest Airlines, meanwhile, said on its website that employees and customers can “choose whether they’d like to wear a mask, and we encourage people to make the best choice to support their personal well-being.”

It also said it would “continue to support the comfort of those traveling with us by offering additional layers of protection.”

And JetBlue, through a tweet, stated that masks would be optional within the United States. “While no longer required, customers and crew members can continue to wear face coverings in our terminals and onboard our aircraft.”

Meanwhile, Amtrak said it would no longer require face masks for passengers and employees on the ground.

It is recalled that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended the mandate to use masks until May 3. The masking requirement was applied to planes, trains, and other forms of public transportation. A Biden administration official says the order is no longer in effect while the ruling is reviewed.

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April 20, 2022 9:46 pm

Optional is the key word…mandatory should never have been…

Paul Tierney
April 21, 2022 10:23 am

Do not be surprised if this judge’s decision is reversed by an appellate judge.