My Mask-Optional Airport Experience: Not What I Was Expecting

My Mask-Optional Airport Experience: Not What I Was Expecting

102

This morning I flew out of Frankfurt Airport (FRA), which lifted its mask requirement a few days ago. This was one of my first times in over two years that I was at an airport without a mask requirement, but it was nothing like what I expected…

Do people stop wearing masks when no longer required?

We’re starting to see countries eliminate mask requirements for travel. In the case of Germany, many airports in the country recently stopped requiring masks to be worn, though they continue to be required on airplanes. Nonetheless, passengers are “strongly encouraged” to wear masks.

So, what was it like flying out of Frankfurt Airport? Was it a whole new world of maskless people? Nope, to my surprise a vast majority of people continued to wear masks. I’d estimate that over 95% of passengers were masked, and probably more like 98%. If anything, airport employees (especially security and airline personnel) masked at a much lower rate than passengers, though a majority continued to remain masked.

Interestingly when I visited both the Lufthansa Lounge and Air Canada Lounge I asked the staff if masks were required, since I was curious what the official line was. In both cases the answer was a very firm “it’s strongly recommended,” without directly answering the question (since the answer is “no”).

People are still masking up at Frankfurt Airport

This surprised me somewhat

To be clear, I’m not taking a stand here one way or another about whether or not people should wear masks. As I’ve explained, I’m in favor of the federal transportation mask mandate in the United States being lifted, and people being able to make their own choices, with the ability to use high quality masks to protect themselves and others, if they’d like.

Since I live in Florida, I of course on some level can’t help but look at this through that lens. Despite the federal transportation mask mandate in the United States, I’d estimate that fewer than 75% of passengers at Florida airports are properly masked at airports. And I feel like once the mask mandate is lifted, that number will probably dip to well under 25%.

While I was expecting many people in Frankfurt to continue to choose to wear masks, I thought it would be more 50/50 than 98/2. What do I attribute that to?

  • I suspect a lot of passengers don’t yet know that masks are no longer required at the airport; they’re required on planes and there are lots of transit passengers, and unless you happen to know, there’s nothing making it obvious that masks are no longer required
  • Even those who are aware probably feel some social pressure to wear masks when everyone else is doing so, as you don’t want to be “that” person
  • When it comes to masking in Germany, Frankfurt is definitely more “conservative” than some other places in the country; for example, we spent a few months during the pandemic in Berlin, and it somewhat gave off Miami vibes in terms of mask wearing
  • Then of course there’s the obvious reason to mask up, which is that it does provide a high level of protection in crowded indoor spaces with little ventilation; even beyond health implications, you don’t want to get coronavirus when traveling, given the risk of testing positive and having to cancel your travels, quarantine, etc.

Like I said, I’m not judging the other passengers one way or another. I just figured I’d report back on my observations, since I wasn’t expecting nearly everyone to be masked even after the mask mandate was lifted at German airports.

I’m curious to see how masking habits at airports evolve

Bottom line

With masks no longer being required at some airports, it’s interesting to see what choices passengers are making. In the case of my visit to Frankfurt Airport this morning, I’d estimate that maybe 2% of passengers weren’t masked, despite masks being optional. Once the transportation mask mandate lifts in the United States, I suspect the number of unmasked people might just be the inverse of what I witnessed at some airports.

This ultimately isn’t too surprising, and likely at least somewhat comes down to not knowing the rules (since they were changed quietly) and following what others are doing (since many people don’t want to feel out of place by not being masked), though I’m curious to see how this evolves.

If you’ve traveled out of a mask-optional airport in recent days or weeks, what percent of people would you estimate were masked?

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  1. Garyj Guest

    Catching Covid on vacation not recommended. Since the PLAGUE I have had four injections yet still caught the vicious little sucker. I wear a mask in crowded places and on long haul flights and although careful I still became infected.This hot,hot,hot European summer I managed Germany,Austria and finally Italy before coming down with the BUG. Visited Emergency at Bardolino on Lake Garda and because of my age I was prescribed an anti viral which seems...

    Catching Covid on vacation not recommended. Since the PLAGUE I have had four injections yet still caught the vicious little sucker. I wear a mask in crowded places and on long haul flights and although careful I still became infected.This hot,hot,hot European summer I managed Germany,Austria and finally Italy before coming down with the BUG. Visited Emergency at Bardolino on Lake Garda and because of my age I was prescribed an anti viral which seems to have helped a lot. Did the mask help? Who knows. I believe it’s crucial.

  2. chels Guest

    dropped my parents off at FRA this morning, would estimate over 90% were wearing masks inside. most not wearing masks were german residents waiting at the arrivals gate who would know the local rules better. (worth noting that in the german city where I live, masks are under 50% in the mall, but closer to 85% at the grocery store.)

  3. Gary Guest

    Just travelled from St Lucia to London on Virgin, probably about 10 people on the whole plane, including me, we’re wearing masks and by the sounds of it, the whole plane was Covid Central!! The Brits just do what Boris tells them to do )-:

  4. NPS Guest

    "I’m not judging the other passengers"

    Ummm, your entire article was just that

  5. Mary S Guest

    @Lucky - 75% at Florida airports? No way... 99% at MIA, FLL and PBI. Maybe TPA is lower.

    If you are saying 'proper' and being strict about it, maybe. But, in that case JFK is the worst - 50% at best.

  6. DavidB Guest

    This only demonstrates how irresponsible Americans are compared to these in other countries who realize what masks do and given the wave of a new strain that is even more infectious (if less life threatening if vaccinated), it's foolish to be in crowds without covering up...as people in China, SE Asia, Korea and Japan have always done when they are either contagious with cold or flu and must go out in public, or to protect...

    This only demonstrates how irresponsible Americans are compared to these in other countries who realize what masks do and given the wave of a new strain that is even more infectious (if less life threatening if vaccinated), it's foolish to be in crowds without covering up...as people in China, SE Asia, Korea and Japan have always done when they are either contagious with cold or flu and must go out in public, or to protect themselves from catching such maladies.

    I've continued to wear a mask indoors and in an outdoor crowded situation though remove it when outdoors with few people about. And certainly on an airplane, train or public transit even when not mandated. It's my decision to stay safe, fully vaccinated, and cautious. And while I've started flying again, it's only been on flights where proof of full vaccination is required...a major flaw in how the US has treated flying: masks are not enough and if the mandate is removed but vaccination proof is not required, it's insanity. Being vaccinated isn't (and never way said to be) 100% but combined with appropriate behaviour and masking, is still effective.

    Nothing to do with FREEDOM it's just COMMON SENSE & SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY!

  7. dee Guest

    Florida has been ahead of the game for almost 2 years,,,Thanks to Governor DeSantis...freedom reigns there!!!

    1. lkmk Guest

      And death. Let's not forget death.

  8. Bill n DC Guest

    Up front I haven’t read the comments and will not be checking back to see any response, but…
    The mask is becoming like a bicycle helmet. I never wore one until I did the big bike ride across Iowa in 1989 with over 10,000 people riding bicycles. There would be crashes and I wore a helmet. Now I feel naked bicycling without one
    Same for Masks right now. I’ve been boosted twice but will protect me and others from getting Covid

  9. Franz Guest

    I think a lot of people at Frankfurt Airport, where I was yesterday, do not know, that they do not have to wear a mask. In Zurich, where I was one week ago, only about 20% had a mask.

  10. AintgeUK Guest

    In the UK masks are now very rare, including at Heathrow

    1. DavidB Guest

      Explains why there's a major breakout of the new variant...and has been each time the Brits remove the mask mandate.

  11. Alex Guest

    This just confirms what the world already knows . . . Germans are much smarter than Floridians.

    1. Gary Hohenstein Guest

      That will be the day !!

  12. iamhere Guest

    First to point out it has just been a few days since the rules changed. Second, is wearing a mask that important or controversial or that important that it requires a whole article with your opinion. This article would be very different if you pointed out the number of people wearing a mask in the airport and why you think this was rather than also having your opinion. Even if it does not do much...

    First to point out it has just been a few days since the rules changed. Second, is wearing a mask that important or controversial or that important that it requires a whole article with your opinion. This article would be very different if you pointed out the number of people wearing a mask in the airport and why you think this was rather than also having your opinion. Even if it does not do much to save lives and protect people it's really not that big of a deal. The fact that some airlines and some places have mask requirements and others don't then it just makes it more confusing and complicated.

  13. Tim Guest

    Just leaving MUC airport on KLM flight to AMS. Like you, I am surprised so many passengers wearing masks. At least 50% of airport personnel are not. When talking to others, most do not realize the mandate is no longer in place here, and they then remove their masks too.

  14. Vicente Guest

    Reminds me of what FA say about lavatory when the seatbelt sign is lit. “I’m required to tell you that you should remain seated when the sign is lit.” Strongly encouraged. Sensible.

  15. David Diamond

    I’m booster and healthy male in my 30s, and I continue wearing masks not because I’m afraid of having serious complications for COVID (it’s highly unlikely given my age group and vaccine status), but because:
    1. I don’t want to test positive while travelling and having to isolate. That would throw a huge wrench into any plans I have.
    2. Getting a cold, or god forbid the flu, actually does suck, and ever...

    I’m booster and healthy male in my 30s, and I continue wearing masks not because I’m afraid of having serious complications for COVID (it’s highly unlikely given my age group and vaccine status), but because:
    1. I don’t want to test positive while travelling and having to isolate. That would throw a huge wrench into any plans I have.
    2. Getting a cold, or god forbid the flu, actually does suck, and ever since masking I haven’t caught any of that.

    As for whether others can/should mask, I really couldn’t care less. Wear it if you want, don’t wear it if you don’t want to, but please stay out of my social distancing zone if you’re going to keep coughing while massless.

  16. TonyA Guest

    Same thing happened to me at Zurich Airport early March. I did not know they lifted the mandate,when went in the Swiss Lounge I noticed no one was masked,even employees. I kinda mumbled “no mask?” And the Swiss lounge employee enthusiastically told me mask were not needed. I though he was BS but I noticed about 10-15% were not wearing mask in the airport. If the Swiss removed the mandates then whats the USAs holdup? We have idiots running this Country.

    1. JensC Guest

      That maybe true. But idiots don’t get vaccinated. So Swiss & Germany probably has less idiots…

  17. Creditian Guest

    If you don’t wear mask on New York subway, nobody gives a shit, including cops.

  18. GroeneMichel Member

    Why would I need to wear a mask at an airport if I don't have to at a crowded bar or night club? Airports are way bigger and less people pushed on a small space..

    1. Alex Guest

      Let’s use that same logic in another situation: Why would I have to wear a seatbelt in a country that doesn’t have laws requiring it?

    2. GroeneMichel Member

      Let's use a better logic: why do I need to wear a seat belt in situation A and not B when all other parameters are the same?
      Europe moved on from masks, they're not required anymore indoors, so why are people surprised people indeed stopped wearing them..

    3. Alex Guest

      Answer: you swear a seat belt even if the law doesn’t require it because it makes you safer!

    4. GroeneMichel Member

      If I'm in an accident, a seatbelt will indeed safe my life as it is a proven tool of succes during a car crash. Wearing a cloth face mask willl not have the same success ratio compared to wearing a seat belt in a car. Your logic does not make sense at all.
      If you want to be safe, I'd suggest wearing a helmet everytime you walk outside in a big city, never know when a brick falls down from a building... Stop being so scared.

    5. Alex Guest

      Just replace your cloth mask with a N95 or better mask. Not very hard to do to increase your safety. Oh, and safety belts are 100% effective but people still wear them!

    6. GroeneMichel Member

      I won't.. Because I'm not afraid to die from COVID at this stage. When will you stop wearing a mask? Never?

  19. Alan Guest

    I was in Copenhagen last week and hardly any masks to be seen in the airport or anywhere else since they relaxed their rules.

    TBH in more bothered about the ongoing US testing requirements, I really hope they relax them soon!

  20. HonestAl Guest

    I flew through Stockholm and Copenhagen two weeks ago. No mask requirement at the airports and no mask requirement on the flights between the two cities. Only a few people were wearing masks on the flight.

    1. Mary Guest

      I did both in the last week and can count on one hand the number of people in either airport wearing masks. And in my flight between not one single person with a mask.

  21. robbo Guest

    I think you forgot to mention that most of these people are in transit. Either the country they come from and are going to or the airline they are flying requires a mask. Especially at FRA ( I mean, who goes therLOL ). Just the other day I flew Swiss who no longer require a mask when on board, except if you are flying from or to a country that require masks. There's your answer,...

    I think you forgot to mention that most of these people are in transit. Either the country they come from and are going to or the airline they are flying requires a mask. Especially at FRA ( I mean, who goes therLOL ). Just the other day I flew Swiss who no longer require a mask when on board, except if you are flying from or to a country that require masks. There's your answer, FRA is primarily a transit airport. Unlike the author, rather than sitting on the fence when it comes to masks, I say get rid of the bastards, it's proven a lot of the government over reach of the past few years is proving to be utter BS, and that sad, old thing ruining the USA should lift all the rules and set America free again

    1. GBOAC Diamond

      @Robbo. You are so right
      "the USA should lift all the rules and set America free again"
      and while we are doing that let's eliminate:
      *All smoking rules in public spaces
      *All rules against driving under the influence
      *All helmet laws
      *and at the same time eliminate all income taxes
      etc etc

      I do have to add a disclaimer for the sarcasm-challenged, my post is intended as sarcasm

  22. DCYukon Guest

    I flew through Heathrow last fall when masks were still required, but found many passengers treating them as optional in the BA First lounge. Keep in mind that cases of BA2 and a new sub-sub variant are increasing in the EU and US, so people will wear masks based on their evaluation of personal risk and other factors. I will continue to wear an N-95 mask if it means being able to test negative on...

    I flew through Heathrow last fall when masks were still required, but found many passengers treating them as optional in the BA First lounge. Keep in mind that cases of BA2 and a new sub-sub variant are increasing in the EU and US, so people will wear masks based on their evaluation of personal risk and other factors. I will continue to wear an N-95 mask if it means being able to test negative on a required PCR test for entry into countries where it’s still required. It’s a small price to pay to avoid losing out on my rescheduled 2020 vacations by being forced to cancel and/or quarantine in dire 3rd world country government mandated quarantine facilities. My free choice is for my trip to proceed as scheduled; someone else’s misguided definition of freedom is irrelevant. I freely make the choice not to screw up my trip by getting infected.

    1. GBOAC Diamond

      @DCYukon Exactly our approach as we spent three weeks in London before returning yesterday to the US. We had no problem wearing masks on the tube and other indoor spaces as it helped our chances of testing negative on the mandatory COVID test.

  23. TomLV Guest

    Remember: The rest of the world looks at America the way the rest of America looks at Florida.

  24. Vistaro Guest

    Arrived at MAN (from MCO) last week, maybe 20% wearing masks, 80% not

  25. zeer0 Guest

    I recently traveled through Norway where masks are no longer required in airports or on domestic flights. I would approximate that 75%-90% of people at the airports and on the flights did NOT wear masks, depending on the airports (OSL, BGO, TOS, BOO). It was interesting to see and felt like a true return to normalcy for the first time in 2 years of travel.

    And keep in mind, people in Norway believe in science and vaccines.

    1. GBOAC Diamond

      I think zeer0 makes the key point. If you are fully vaccinated (which. may getting boosters on an annual basis) then mask wearing can become optional in most situations because the chance of serious illness is much reduced. However a lot of anti-maskers are anti-vaxers as well and it's a different situation for them.

  26. Bill Guest

    Lots of good comments : some are a bit off target. COvid-19 will NEVER be eradicated, it is endemic. I agree masking should be voluntary, we have flown with severe flu bugs for years. The experience of hard mask mandates vs soft ones show no real improvement in transmission or outcomes, so mask up if you want and don't force others to do so. I recently flew into PHL and I would say, despite the...

    Lots of good comments : some are a bit off target. COvid-19 will NEVER be eradicated, it is endemic. I agree masking should be voluntary, we have flown with severe flu bugs for years. The experience of hard mask mandates vs soft ones show no real improvement in transmission or outcomes, so mask up if you want and don't force others to do so. I recently flew into PHL and I would say, despite the "mandate" about 30% of the people walking the concourse were not masked. Sooner or later people are just going to ignore these mandates as they are starting to in any event....

  27. Alan Guest

    Best airport in the world. Frankfurt Airport City, you will always be home for me!

  28. SENflyer Guest

    Well, if you go in the Nordics, probably only 10% are wearing a mask at the airport. This is how I felt the last three weeks at ARN,OSL,BMA,CPH.
    Regarding FRA, the Germans are not yet used to this change and what I can see in the supermarket is similar - if there are three persons wearing a mask number 4 will turn it on - even if he would like to go without -...

    Well, if you go in the Nordics, probably only 10% are wearing a mask at the airport. This is how I felt the last three weeks at ARN,OSL,BMA,CPH.
    Regarding FRA, the Germans are not yet used to this change and what I can see in the supermarket is similar - if there are three persons wearing a mask number 4 will turn it on - even if he would like to go without - a group dynamic thing AND more or less everywhere you read and hear that you should wear a mask. The drop of the mask mandate was pushed by the liberal party FDP against the wish of the socialist health minister…

  29. Marty Guest

    It's so easy to wear a mask. My friend, who was ALWAYS prone to catching colds, hasn't had even a sniffle for the last two years. She'll never go back, regardless of the rules.

  30. Syd Guest

    Went through LHR, LGW and WAW in the past 6 days - in all three I think 20-40% tops were voluntarily masked. I hope I can trust you when you claim 98%, but everywhere I've been it clearly shows people are sick of masks and happy to take them off. My bet is FRA travelers are simply unaware yet that the requirement had been lifted.

  31. A350 Guest

    Ben - you need to see what optional masks UK is like! Total opposite of this.

  32. Samo Guest

    Germany is militant in this aspect. Try Stockholm, Zurich, Heathrow, Warsaw or Oslo and it will be a very different experience :)

  33. Ralph Guest

    Come to Switzerland
    Here masks are no longer worn. The day government made it voluntary about 90% dropped them. Quite a lot of them wore the masks incorrectly anyway. Result: one of the highest infection rates in the world. With only 70% vaccination rate a rather stupid experiment.
    An over the while pandemic a very high number of deaths.
    People who wear masks because they are told so are probably not thinking...

    Come to Switzerland
    Here masks are no longer worn. The day government made it voluntary about 90% dropped them. Quite a lot of them wore the masks incorrectly anyway. Result: one of the highest infection rates in the world. With only 70% vaccination rate a rather stupid experiment.
    An over the while pandemic a very high number of deaths.
    People who wear masks because they are told so are probably not thinking much in other areas as well. Anyone with only a small interest in health and empathy with others will wear masks in tight spaces.
    But obviously this is not the case in Switzerland. Bravo Germany for 90% wearing masks in airports.

  34. Covid19 Guest

    Smart people wear mask to protect themselves, their loved ones & other’s..

    Dumb thinks it’s taking away their freedom, Unless you really have some medical issue .. mask is really good at protecting against , flu etc specially in a crowded place.

    Let the ppl who wear them, please don’t discourage others.

    1. Not Covid Guest

      Smart people realize that wearing a cloth mask doesn't work to protect themselves or others. #Science.

      https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2022/01/05/cloth-masks-not-effective-omicron-covid/9091574002/

      USAToday, not a right wing website. There was a reason the CDC didn't promote mask usage early on in the pandemic, bc they knew it didn't help. Then they just used it as a means to control simpletons.

    2. Andrew Guest

      If you’re having trouble finding non-cloth masks, you aren’t looking. Worst straw man ever.

    3. Alex Guest

      Dumb people use cloth masks as an excuse not to wear any masks such as KN95 or better, that have been proven very effective in preventing the spread of COVID.

    4. GBOAC Diamond

      Unlike "Not Covid" some people learn new things over time and make adjustments accordingly. Yes we learned that cloth masks were not as effective against the latest variants so many of us changed to a mask that was much more effective.
      BTW a couple of reasons why the CDC didn't promote mask usage at the beginning -- one was we didn't know exactly how it was transmitted -- remember all the focus on sanitizing...

      Unlike "Not Covid" some people learn new things over time and make adjustments accordingly. Yes we learned that cloth masks were not as effective against the latest variants so many of us changed to a mask that was much more effective.
      BTW a couple of reasons why the CDC didn't promote mask usage at the beginning -- one was we didn't know exactly how it was transmitted -- remember all the focus on sanitizing hands and surfaces. Also the supply of masks was minimal at the time. But again some of us learn new things and adapt accordingly.

    5. Steve Guest

      Smart people also know how serious COVID is to their health and take necessary precautions, such as staying at home or masking themselves. Smart people also know when it is no longer a risk to them and remove their masks and return to living. At this phase, I'd rather die than continue with this charade.

  35. Chris Guest

    I’ve flown out of Thailand a few weeks ago, where masks are obligatory still, and it was a bit of a culture shock to arrive in brussels airport, where the mask wearing was around 30-40%. The mask mandate has been dropped there. When I flew out a few days later there were even fewer people wearing masks. Today I’m flying out of Dublin and while people have masks, I’d say only around 25-30% are actually...

    I’ve flown out of Thailand a few weeks ago, where masks are obligatory still, and it was a bit of a culture shock to arrive in brussels airport, where the mask wearing was around 30-40%. The mask mandate has been dropped there. When I flew out a few days later there were even fewer people wearing masks. Today I’m flying out of Dublin and while people have masks, I’d say only around 25-30% are actually wearing them. I wear them in enclosed spaces or busy spaces with little airflow, and on public transport. But not in the high cielinged airports in Europe with fewer people around.

  36. kenindfw Guest

    If you're in a crowded theater or an airplane where you're basically rubbing shoulders with the stranger next to you, then I mask up. Also, people are now getting other illnesses, colds, flu, things they weren't getting prior to COVID due to the masks so you never know. Especially if traveling internationally I would mask up until I was back home.

    1. Samo Guest

      You can only get infected abroad. Science!

    2. Xplays Guest

      COVID testing still required to get into the US - getting asymptomatic COVID will cause more hassles if you are shortly coming back to US then if you are already in the US. Stop calling people stupid (“Science!”) because you can’t appreciate pragmatism regardless of political inclination.

  37. John Guest

    Employees still are oliged tô use the mais in germany airport, that's why. In Brazil took some time for people to stop wearing masks at the airports... Maybe the same thing will happen there as well. Take a look in Zurich, looks like that they're quite free of masks.

  38. Donna Diamond

    I’m vaccinated and boosted and I wear a mask voluntarily if I feel the space is cramped and the ventilation poor. Definitely wore a mask in taxi and Uber rides recently as well as in conference rooms with clients overseas. As long as I have to test negative to enter the US, I’m not taking any risks.

  39. Doug Guest

    I really wonder if it is just an issue of people not realizing that they can take them off. I flew through ZRH a few weeks ago, and as soon as people walked off the aircraft roughly half of the people pulled off their masks. I would guess it was about 50/50 throughout the airport. I anticipate usage being below 50% in US airports once the requirement is lifted.

  40. Alex77W Guest

    My own observation is that at least 2% of the people in US airports do not wear masks properly like having the masks below their noses etc. I also find it difficult to remember to take and wear a mask on a plane or in an airport if you live in a state when no masks are required in all other places but hospitals (and public transit which I do not use).

  41. Cedric Guest

    funny, basically no one was wearing a mask in ZRH 3-4 weeks ago. Everywhere I have been where masks have been droped...very few people wear them. I'm all for free choice and I respect people who want to wear them.

  42. George Romey Guest

    I fly 2-3 a week. More and more people are walking around maskless in US airports. DFW last night, at least a third of the people were walking through the terminal or sitting at gates without a mask and no announcements or mask police. BTW endless airport workers walking around no mask.

    Flying last night to RNO I feel asleep for an hour no mask on-in coach. Flight attendants didn't say boo.

    The mask theater...

    I fly 2-3 a week. More and more people are walking around maskless in US airports. DFW last night, at least a third of the people were walking through the terminal or sitting at gates without a mask and no announcements or mask police. BTW endless airport workers walking around no mask.

    Flying last night to RNO I feel asleep for an hour no mask on-in coach. Flight attendants didn't say boo.

    The mask theater is over with and people want to put the hysteria behind them. Wear a mask if it gives you comfort but stop telling me to do so.

    1. Rob Guest

      Thanks for just admitting that you just violated a federal mandate, Mr. George Romney. It's funny that Boomers think that they are anonymous when they are on the internet.

    2. Jodaddy Guest

      Oh Lord, George is headed to Leavenworth!!

      Rob, nobody but you GAF.....

    3. Jan Guest

      Oh shit guys, Rob is on to something! maybe he wants some social credit score bonuses!

    4. George Romey Guest

      Poor Rob can't even spell my last name right. I wonder if he can spell "Karen." OMG the FBI is going to be knocking down my door tonight.

    5. NotABoomer Guest

      Rob,
      Oh noes, a federal mandate? What's the punishment for that and who's going to enforce it? The federal mask police?

      Based in DFW, I have not worn a mask in an airport for at least the last month and a half and I've been in ATL, BWI, DFW, CLT, PHL, ANC, LHR, FRA, MCO and headed to MEM next week and back to FRA next weekend. Only one old guy manning some kind...

      Rob,
      Oh noes, a federal mandate? What's the punishment for that and who's going to enforce it? The federal mask police?

      Based in DFW, I have not worn a mask in an airport for at least the last month and a half and I've been in ATL, BWI, DFW, CLT, PHL, ANC, LHR, FRA, MCO and headed to MEM next week and back to FRA next weekend. Only one old guy manning some kind of booth in TUL last week said "Hey, where's your mask?", I just kept walking, maskless. Other than him, no one said sh1t about it.

      As for planes, I mask up when I board, but haven't had flack from any mainline FA's when I leave it off after eating or drinking, though the regionals are another story. Flight back home last night and the FA on my barbie jet was walking up and down the aisle making sure phones were in airplane mode, because of the 5G antennas... luckily, no one had any issues that required her intervention because she was an absolute moron.

      One more thing - we are anonymous on the internet...

  43. James S Guest

    Mask mandate for businesses was lifted almost a year ago here (last May) and places like Whole Foods still have a 90%+ mask rate

    Generally wealthier people are going to take more steps to protect themselves because they have more to lose. So I would expect an airport with tons of Spirit flights to have a much lower mask rate than an airport with business travelers.

  44. Anthony Diamond

    I'm vaxxed/boosted, and I don't wear masks in settings like gyms and restaurants. But I do anticipate masking on subways, and probably airplanes for a while, especially during various surges (there is a bit of a BA2 surge right now in many locations). Too many people are too rigid on masks either way. Where one where it makes sense, don't wear one where it doesn't. Probably makes sense in airports/planes.

    1. MikeL1986 Guest

      Sorry but if we can go maskless in crowded bars, packed stadiums, theaters, malls, etc., then there is no reason why they should be required in planes and airports. There is absolutely no justification when you don't have to mask anywhere else.

    2. Alonzo Diamond

      Agreed. Quote one time where an indoor stadium of any major sport reported a massive outbreak. I'll wait...

    3. Anthony Diamond

      I'm not talking about "requirements." I am talking about my personal approach to mask wearing, which is wear them in certain situations (mass transit, including airplanes) and not wear them in others (discretionary environments like bars and stadiums).

    4. Ray Gold

      I read @Anthony's comment three times and at no time did he state "should be required in planes and airports". Just stop the senseless attacks. He posted his personal view and position. Full stop.

    5. Alex Guest

      Same flawed logic: “If you can smoke in a bar cafe or restaurant then you should be able to smoke everywhere else including airplanes, buses and subways . . .”

  45. Max Guest

    I think this mostly comes down to the knowledge about the exact requirements.

    Masks continue to be required in public transportation in Germany and many people seem to assume that this includes airports and train stations, which it doesn‘t.

    And then you have a lot of people over here in Germany who still think that Covid is a real risk for their health and are in panic about the rules ending. And they...

    I think this mostly comes down to the knowledge about the exact requirements.

    Masks continue to be required in public transportation in Germany and many people seem to assume that this includes airports and train stations, which it doesn‘t.

    And then you have a lot of people over here in Germany who still think that Covid is a real risk for their health and are in panic about the rules ending. And they also miss the opportunity to tell others what to do.

    But I guess that over time they will accept the reality. Althoug It will take some time for them to exit the covid cult.

  46. Ryan Guest

    @Ryan from Ryan... there's a few of us. And we seem to have similar views most of the time. But it's like a Highlander thing. There can only be one!!!

    Rochambeau? I call rock.

  47. Dempseyzdad Gold

    You say you are in favor of people being allowed to choose whether to wear a mask or not...but then are surprised that people choose to wear them. Yes, I would say your 'Florida' is showing. It is a non-issue if people decide to wear a mask and it is not open for debate. I don't say anything to or about the maskless, and I expect the same in return.

    1. Robin Guest

      Have fun wearing a mask for the rest of your life.

      As for the rest of us? Leave us the hell alone!

      There. It's that simple!

    2. Dempseyzdad Gold

      No one is forcing you to do anything so chill out. It is none of your business, nor should you care if I do or do not "wear a mask for the rest of my life", so keep your judgmental 'opinion' to yourself.

      I clearly stated that I do not say anything to or about the maskless, and I expect you to do the same.

    3. MKLDH Member

      Very spot on, Dempseyzdad. Couldn't agree more

  48. Sean Guest

    Wear a mask. It's not hard. Could saves lives. Hope all airlines continue to enforce mask mandates for years to come, until covid-19 is complete eradicated. So many people don't understand the devastating effects of Long-haul Covid.

    1. Jan Guest

      Covid will never be eradicated, in the same way that 100 years later we are still living with a descendant of the Spanish Flu.

    2. MikeL1986 Guest

      Sorry Sean but you're delusional. First of all, it will never be eradicated. Second of all, you point out the "devestating long Covid". Sorry but no reasonable person is not going to mask for years to come because there is a miniscule chance of getting "long Covid". Every person I know at this point has had Covid at one time or another and the longest case was a couple weeks with a lingering cough and...

      Sorry Sean but you're delusional. First of all, it will never be eradicated. Second of all, you point out the "devestating long Covid". Sorry but no reasonable person is not going to mask for years to come because there is a miniscule chance of getting "long Covid". Every person I know at this point has had Covid at one time or another and the longest case was a couple weeks with a lingering cough and that was my 72 year old dad. The media was busy raising hysteria about long Covid for awhile so I can sort of understand your paranoia. The truth is, Covid has changed since the beginning and it now behaves like a cold for almost every person who gets it. If you don't want long Covid, then get the vaccine, which prevents serious illness.

    3. Jeffrey Chang Guest

      "Hope all airlines continue to enforce mask mandates for years to come, until covid-19 is complete eradicated. So many people don't understand the devastating effects of Long-haul Covid."

      Why not ban eating on an airplane too?

    4. Geoff Guest

      Eradicated? Like the flu? We have some bad news for you.

    5. Alex Guest

      Geoff a flu strain actually was eradicated through COVID control measures: https://www.wsj.com/amp/articles/did-covid-19-cause-flu-strain-to-go-extinct-11639054801

    6. Steve Guest

      I tend to laugh when people like you inevitably catch COVID.

  49. Peter Guest

    Many people are continuing to wear masks as they were scared out of their minds by the government media blitz over the last 2 years. A few seem to wish the pandemic nanny state will carry on for ever.

    1. Textuality Member

      Some of us didn't need to be "scared out of their minds" as we've been through the experience. Happy to wear a mask so as to reduce the chance others go through that.

      Certainly don't need a government to tell me one way or another.

    2. Ray Gold

      @Testuality: please don't bring logic and/or sensibilities into an argument with a hater. They know not what they spew, they just regurgitate talking points they see on Facebook, etc.

    3. GBOAC Diamond

      @Textuality: We just returned to the US after spending the last three weeks in London where the vast majority of residents were not wearing masks. But we did. Why because we knew we had to pass a COVID test to return home. Why take chances.

  50. Ryan Guest

    I find that odd. Was in the FRA airport maybe 6 weeks ago and spent 2 weeks bouncing around Germany and France and thought it was more 75/25. Masked to unmasked despite whatever rules may have been in place at the time. Not exactly scientific, just my perception.

    However back at the end of November I flew from Stockholm to Kiruna after SAS lifted the requirement. Easily 40/60 both in the airport and on...

    I find that odd. Was in the FRA airport maybe 6 weeks ago and spent 2 weeks bouncing around Germany and France and thought it was more 75/25. Masked to unmasked despite whatever rules may have been in place at the time. Not exactly scientific, just my perception.

    However back at the end of November I flew from Stockholm to Kiruna after SAS lifted the requirement. Easily 40/60 both in the airport and on the flight.

    The Swedes don't care but that route is very tourist heavy and the look of horror and disbelief for many tourists seeing unmasked travelers was very entertaining.

    1. Samo Guest

      That's a shocking number. I've been on numerous SAS flights and mask wearing was about 10-20% at most. I'm writing this from GOT-ARN flight and when I look around, I don't see a single person in mask. Even lower numbers at ARN. You were very unlucky!

    2. reddargon Diamond

      Hahahaha, I had to laugh at this one. This is a hilarious take regardless of how you feel about masks; hat everyone around you chooses to do has basically no impact on you. Of course, maybe you are so sensitive to other peoples' personal choices that you get upset at the very sight of other people wearing a mask, in which case that must be an exhausting way to live and I feel bad for you.

  51. Ryan Guest

    I can contrast this to some flights last week within Norway on SAS and then OSL-AMS with KLM. No one wore masks in Norway, on the planes or in the airport. On KLM from OSL-AMS, about 50% were wearing (technically required under Dutch law but KLM isn't enforcing it).

  52. Alvin Guest

    Come to Heathrow, where you'll see the masked-unmasked proportions be more like 2-98...

    1. DCA Will Always Be "National" Guest

      Same for BRU. Passed through twice in the last week or so. Masks were a rare sight. Though, to be fair, I didn't see any signage that specifically stated they were required like I have in other airports in Europe/Canada/US. I'm pro-whatever-helps-us-end-the-pandemic-quickest, but it did feel nice to be (back) in an environment that was "normal", even if it felt somewhat strange.

    2. GroeneMichel Member

      Masks are not required at BRU anymore

    3. Creditcrunch Diamond

      Yeap was going to say the same thing, was through LHR on a return last week and hardly any passengers were wearing masks, mostly staff were covered up but I would say about 50%

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Dempseyzdad Gold

No one is forcing you to do anything so chill out. It is none of your business, nor should you care if I do or do not "wear a mask for the rest of my life", so keep your judgmental 'opinion' to yourself. I clearly stated that I do not say anything to or about the maskless, and I expect you to do the same.

6
Dempseyzdad Gold

You say you are in favor of people being allowed to choose whether to wear a mask or not...but then are surprised that people choose to wear them. Yes, I would say your 'Florida' is showing. It is a non-issue if people decide to wear a mask and it is not open for debate. I don't say anything to or about the maskless, and I expect the same in return.

6
Textuality Member

Some of us didn't need to be "scared out of their minds" as we've been through the experience. Happy to wear a mask so as to reduce the chance others go through that. Certainly don't need a government to tell me one way or another.

4
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