American Airlines makes face coverings mandatory
As of May 11, 2020, American Airlines will make face coverings over the nose and mouth mandatory for all customers while onboard aircraft. American Airlines notes that very young passengers and those with conditions that prevent them from wearing a face covering will be exempt from the requirement.
Furthermore, as was previously announced, all American Airlines flight attendants have to wear face masks during every flight.
There are a couple of things that American is doing differently than JetBlue and Frontier here when it comes to the passenger requirement:
- They’re making an exception for those “with conditions that prevent them from wearing a face mask,” as JetBlue and Frontier only have an exemption for small children
- American isn’t requiring passengers to wear face masks at the airport, while JetBlue and Frontier are
I commend American for making face masks mandatory, though they’re definitely giving passengers a bit more leeway than JetBlue and Frontier.
American will also provide passengers with masks
Several days ago American announced that as of May 1, 2020, they’ll start offering passengers face masks and either sanitizing wipes or gels. This is great, because as far as I know they’re the only US airline to be offering that.
I am a bit confused about the logistics, though. Hopefully they’ll be handing these out before passengers get on the plane, rather than once they’re on the plane. After all, it seems like wearing a face masks would potentially be most valuable during the boarding process.
All airlines should be requiring face masks for now
As I’ve said before, in my opinions airlines are doing exactly the right thing by requiring passengers to wear masks:
- People shouldn’t be flying unless it’s essential
- The CDC recommends wearing face coverings in general, especially when social distancing isn’t possible (PSA: it’s literally never possible to properly social distance on a commercial flight, so manage expectations accordingly)
- There are all kinds of stories of people being outraged about full flights, and everyone wearing a mask will at least help a little bit
I love flying, and I hope that this won’t be required long-term. However, for the time being this is the right policy, until we get stuff in order.
The way I see it, this is a step in the right direction, and a step towards returning to normal. More precautions are needed for now so that travel can eventually resume, and hopefully over time advancements in other areas will mean this will no longer be needed.
American Airlines will require passengers to wear masks onboard flights as of May 11, 2020. Not only that, but they’ll be offering passengers masks and sanitizing wipes or gel, which is a nice initiative as well.