JetBlue Will Require Passengers To Wear Masks

Filed Under: JetBlue

JetBlue became the first major US airline to require their employees to wear masks, and now they’ll become the first major US airline to require passengers to wear masks.

All JetBlue passengers have to wear masks

As of May 4, 2020, JetBlue will require all passengers to wear a face covering during travel. Passengers will have to cover their nose and mouth throughout their journey, including during check-in, boarding, while inflight, and while deplaning.

Customers will be reminded of this requirement before their flight via email and at the airport by both terminal signage and announcements.

Small children who are not able to maintain a face covering are exempt from this requirement.

Passengers will have to bring their own masks — interestingly American will be offering passengers masks but won’t require them to be worn, while JetBlue will be requiring masks to be worn but won’t be offering them to passengers.

This is in line with CDC recommendations

This new JetBlue policy is based on Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines, that indicate all individuals should wear a face covering in public to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

A face covering is defined as an item of cloth that should fit snugly against the side of the face, be secured with ties or ear loops, and include multiple layers of fabric and allow for unrestricted breathing. The CDC recommends that surgical masks and N-95 respirators be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders.

As JetBlue’s President and Chief Operating Officer, Joanna Geraghty, described this:

“Wearing a face covering isn’t about protecting yourself it’s about protecting those around you. This is the new flying etiquette. Onboard, cabin air is well circulated and cleaned through filters every few minutes but this is a shared space where we have to be considerate of others. We are also asking our customers to follow these CDC guidelines in the airport as well.”

This is the right policy for now

At this very point it makes sense for this policy to exist:

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.

Bottom line

I commend JetBlue for becoming the first major US airline to require passengers to wear masks. Personally I think this is something that lawmakers should address rather than leaving it to individual airlines, though.

Let me be clear — I get that many people find it uncomfortable to wear masks for long periods. I’m among those people. That’s also why I’m not flying for now, among other reasons. But for those who do make the decision to fly, this will at least make things a little better.

I’m curious to see how many cases there will be of people being kicked off flights for refusing to wear masks, whether out of protest, or whatever else…

How do you feel about this policy from JetBlue, and would you like to see other airlines match?

  1. Requiring masks is good.

    They should sell discounted additional seats for social distancing. For example, buying a half row of 3. Or buying 2 half rows of 3 (6 seats) provided that the passenger in front and behind do so, too.

  2. This is better than the alternative. Not flying. Especially seeing the disturbing news this morning that Argentina announced it’s banning flights until September 1.

  3. First we had terror safety kibuki, now it’s health kibuki. How about infection via one’s eyes or touching? How does one eat or drink on a transcon? How many pax will simply wear some sort of “mask” that is simply a cloth with no real protection at all but just for appearance? No vaccine is coming folks, at least not one that we foolishly think is 100% effective. Will we be required to wear masks forever? Planes are filthy anyway(don’t think after a month or two any airline will be as diligent as they might be after a short burst). Herd immunity or luck seem to be our best(least worst) option. This virus is here to stay in some form for the foreseeable future.

  4. Why isn’t the FAA mandating this instead of us ending up with different airlines having different policies?

  5. @Jim – You are correct, this should be mandated by the FAA

    I can (and will) wear a face mask on a plane, but that only protects others if I am a carrier of the novel coronavirus. I cannot force others to wear a mask, thus protecting me from their potential infection. And remember, many people with the virus are asymptomatic. According to a study in Italy, 43% of people with the virus had no symptoms.

    So face mask requirements need to be standard across the industry, at least for now. Obviously, you can remove the mask from over your mouth to eat and drink, that’s just silly to think enforcement would go that far. But you make everyone safer by minimizing the length of time you’re not covered.

    I’d feel far more comfortable flying today if I knew the people around me were wearing masks, full flight or not.

  6. It isn’t as if there is much for a blogger/FF to review right now,m is there? No real food, beverage, etc. service going on. Many countries you couldn’t enter, or would have to quarantine for 2 weeks which defeats the whole point of a vacation.

    Pretty much the new normal until they better understand the virus and what to do about it. I do think the current data shows it not as dangerous as we were initially led to believe it was. But that doesn’t help the hospitals and areas hit hard or the families that had to deal with it.

  7. Good. I hope the culture of wearing one in public spaces when you have a cold or flu sticks around well after corona is gone.

  8. Funny how the blog post months earlier said that mask is not recommended at all. The reason why Asian countries and Germany have done so well is because ppl actually do wear masks.

    It’s too late for the US. Million and counting

  9. @Tiffany/Ben – nice job w/”George” – may want to look at “John” above too. “Hoaxers” – GFY! (and not “good for you”)

  10. Logic dictates that if you require a passenger to do something, you provide a means for them to do it. I’m all for requiring masks from the entrance at your departure airport to the exit from your arrival airport. That said, however, the airline should be held accountable for providing compliant masks so as to facilitate their policy being followed.

    I’m rather surprised that no one else has touched on this point yet. Compliant masks aren’t exactly easy to come by, and represent an additional expense and trip to get before you go to the airport. Honestly, you’d think the airline would have considered that.

    As has been noted here before, American is providing masks to passengers. Jet Blue should be sourcing masks and handing them out at check in.

  11. Glad to see JetBlue leading the way in finally implementing something that should’ve been implemented a long time ago…

  12. If it allows for unrestricted breathing, it allows for unrestricted spread of virus particles in exhaled air. To imagine that breathing out around a damp and potentially virus saturated rag will protect anyone from anything is plain dumb.

  13. I have to second @Neo.

    Masks are hard to come by right now. It is ridiculous for Jetblue to require them and not have a supply for passengers who arrive at the airport w/o them. Jetblue should be using corporate staff to procure masks. After all, if Jetblue can’t get them, why would anyone believe the average Joe can get them?

  14. @Jim – You are correct, this should be mandated by the FAA

    No he’s not! Let the airlines and other businesses decided what is best for them. Personally I wouldn’t fly an airline that requires me to wear a mask. But that’s just me. If you feel differently, then fly one that does require it.

  15. A paper mask, a homemade cloth mask, a scarf, a Buff, etc. is not going to protect anyone from a coronavirus. You’d need an N95 mask, at least, and you’d have to wear it the entire time — from airport entry to airport exit.

    It might make people feel better, but it’s not really doing much 🙁

  16. @Eileen Kerrigan: if you truly believe improvised face coverings have no impact on viral shedding, please cite your sources before the Zerg capture you.

  17. I will not be flying Jet Blue because of this policy but respect those that will. My wife wears a mask when she goes out and I usually do not. This is a personal choice. I would be much much more concerned with how Jet Blue is sanitizing they’re aircraft than requiring people to wear masks.

  18. @CMorgan So if all other airlines follow suit, are you just not going to fly simply because you’re mad that you can’t make the “personal choice” to not wear a mask for a few hours? Personal choice is fine to throw around when it doesn’t impact others, but that’s not the case with mask wearing. I’m not sure why some people seem to celebrate this selfish point of view, but it sure doesn’t help that our VP visits hospitals and refuses to abide by their mask policy because “he gets tested frequently.” I guess, in addition to not caring about others, he also doesn’t really care if he himself gets infected, but now I’m veering off topic…

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