Official: Airline Mask Mandate Extended To March 2022

Official: Airline Mask Mandate Extended To March 2022

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This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, but the federal mask mandate for airplanes and airports has been extended by two months.

Biden extends mask mandate until March 2022

The federal transportation mask mandate in the United States has officially been extended by a further two months, through March 18, 2022. The announcement of this coincides with a new international travel testing requirement. For context:

  • All airlines in the United States started requiring masks in 2020, within a few months of the start of the pandemic
  • When Biden took office in January 2021, he introduced a federal transportation mask mandate, which applied to airlines and airports; while it didn’t have that many practical implications, it ultimately supported airline employees in enforcing a federal law, rather than just an airline policy
  • This was initially valid through September 14, 2021, and was then extended through January 18, 2022
  • With it being only several weeks until this was due to expire, this has now been extended by a further two months

This shouldn’t come as a surprise

While I think almost everyone wishes we’d fully have the pandemic under control and this would end, I think this policy extension was a given:

  • We now have the new omicron variant; while initial research suggests it’s not too bad in terms of severity and vaccines seem to work well against it, of course no government wants to seem like they aren’t doing something about it
  • We’re going into winter, where we may see an increase in cases due to more people congregating indoors
  • Coronavirus cases are surging in many parts of the world, including in Europe

Even beyond the situation in the United States and federal regulations, the reality is that airlines lifting mask mandates will be complicated:

  • Even if the United States were to lift its mask mandate for aviation, other countries might not
  • It will create a lot of confusion if passengers have to wear masks to some destinations, but not others

Personally I’d be surprised if the mask mandate is lifted before the summer of 2022, though maybe even that’s optimistic. I’m increasingly thinking we may just be wearing masks on planes for years to come.

Bottom line

The federal transportation mask mandate in the United States has been extended by a further two months, through March 18, 2022. With concerns over the new omicron variant, it’s not surprising to see this. Coronavirus isn’t going anywhere, so I can’t help but wonder if masks on planes might just be permanent.

What do you make of the federal transportation mask mandate being extended?

Conversations (95)
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  1. Uncle Joe Guest

    Won’t be flying until it’s dropped!!!
    Why are we getting vaccine shots then…such BS!

  2. Alana Guest

    I don't mind wearing a mask. Its just stupid if I have to make my 2 year old wear a mask on a plane. She's two and never worn one and lord have mercy its been hell trying to have her practice for when we fly in April.

  3. Patriot’s Guest

    If mask work, then why is omicron (which is a cold like symptoms) spreading so fast everywhere in the world?
    Face it, this thing is over, move on!
    If Brain Dead Biden wants everyone to keep wearing mask forever, then let’s do this.
    Public accessible cameras are to be installed on Air Force 1 & 2, Marine and on every government and privately owned aircraft that government officials fly on. Cams everywhere...

    If mask work, then why is omicron (which is a cold like symptoms) spreading so fast everywhere in the world?
    Face it, this thing is over, move on!
    If Brain Dead Biden wants everyone to keep wearing mask forever, then let’s do this.
    Public accessible cameras are to be installed on Air Force 1 & 2, Marine and on every government and privately owned aircraft that government officials fly on. Cams everywhere except the bathroom. So instead of flight attendants, Cams will verify.
    Come On BIDEN, If it’s good enough for the public, It’s Good Enough For You And All The Law Maker’s In DC, RIGHT!

  4. Hipster Doofus Guest

    Masks don't work - if they did then the pandemic would have peaked out months (now years) ago. This is theater, this is about millions of fear-driven people screaming for the government to "do something!," this is about social control, and, if we're all being honest - it's also about FA's being able to exert more control over passengers.

  5. Kelly W Guest

    I am so tired of government overstepping and mandating all their beliefs onto me. I hate masks and do not feel they offer any value other than making most people miserable. Once Biden is gone (thankfully) things will start to go back to normal.

  6. Karin Brown Guest

    I shall be SO GLAD when this nonsense ends. I cannot wear a mask or get the shot, so I've been unable to travel. Being able to fly again will be so nice. Following real science will be even nicer.

  7. Ken Guest

    This ridiculous airline mask mandate will continue until the airlines and their lobbies stand up to asinine government intervention. First airline to stand up and be counted will get my business. Until then I travel to places only accessible by car regardless of the Biden administration self inflicted high gas prices.

  8. David Guest

    There is no need for mask, they don’t work, if they did then why have things not improved?There is no difference between cases in states with no mask mandates and those with strict lockdowns and mask requirements!

  9. Ray Fitchner Guest

    Masks on planes are silly, uncomfortable and make for a confrontational environment.

  10. Missy Guest

    I haven’t been able to see my husband in India for over 2 years because of my inability to wear a mask for 20+ hours. I just can’t breathe and get enough oxygen with mask on unless it’s a super thin, can see through it mask.

    If this was just me not wanting to wear a mask I’d suck it up and do it but there are lots of us that for multiple reasons,...

    I haven’t been able to see my husband in India for over 2 years because of my inability to wear a mask for 20+ hours. I just can’t breathe and get enough oxygen with mask on unless it’s a super thin, can see through it mask.

    If this was just me not wanting to wear a mask I’d suck it up and do it but there are lots of us that for multiple reasons, legitimately can not wear a mask for long periods of time. Unfortunately, nobody cares about us & there’s amount of doctor notes that make a difference to airlines.
    2 years without seeing my husband’s face not pixelated on a screen because wearing a mask for 20+ hours would cause serious harm or death for me.
    Kudos to those of you that are able to wear them, really wish I could as well.

  11. Jason Renner Guest

    When the gop takes back congress in 2022, hopefully they can stop Biden from continuing the useless lockdowns and mask mandates. I haven't air traveled since before the pandemic, and scheduled to travel by plane in fall of 2022. Hopefully, this dumb mask thing will go away by then. Fauci and Biden have got to go, also Harris. I personally thing the democrats want covid to be a priority as long as possible because of...

    When the gop takes back congress in 2022, hopefully they can stop Biden from continuing the useless lockdowns and mask mandates. I haven't air traveled since before the pandemic, and scheduled to travel by plane in fall of 2022. Hopefully, this dumb mask thing will go away by then. Fauci and Biden have got to go, also Harris. I personally thing the democrats want covid to be a priority as long as possible because of free handouts to buy democrat votes and lazy people not wanting to work.

  12. Christine P Guest

    Can we up the age of those required to wear masks as well?... forcing a 2 year old to wear a mask for an entire flight is just cruel!

    1. Missy Guest

      100%! Forcing anyone to wear them is cruel but especially children.

    2. Louisa Guest

      Masking a toddler is abusive, plain and simple. It is incredibly damaging to their cognitive development. It is amazing how we are one of the only countries to enforce this absurd rule. The WHO doesn’t even recommend masking children under the age of 6, and for good reason. It is heartbreaking to watch these poor children being tormented this way and to watch parents stress being kicked off of a plane. People have not seen...

      Masking a toddler is abusive, plain and simple. It is incredibly damaging to their cognitive development. It is amazing how we are one of the only countries to enforce this absurd rule. The WHO doesn’t even recommend masking children under the age of 6, and for good reason. It is heartbreaking to watch these poor children being tormented this way and to watch parents stress being kicked off of a plane. People have not seen their loved ones in years at this point and telling them not travel if their very young children cannot comply is further contributing to the mental health crisis we are facing. I am all for vaccines and rule following as a basis in general society, but this has gone way too far in the expectations of those likely still in diapers.

  13. Mike Guest

    I hope not. Do airlines want to promote the image their cabins are flying germ factories forever? Wearing a mask demonstrates that the environment is inherently risky. That's why masks are required -- for now.

    I don't know how you make travel look enticing in an environment like that -- unless business class gets hermitically sealed pods. Coach can be the section full of disease vectors.

    Once COVID reaches some sort of leveling...

    I hope not. Do airlines want to promote the image their cabins are flying germ factories forever? Wearing a mask demonstrates that the environment is inherently risky. That's why masks are required -- for now.

    I don't know how you make travel look enticing in an environment like that -- unless business class gets hermitically sealed pods. Coach can be the section full of disease vectors.

    Once COVID reaches some sort of leveling off, whether high or low, airlines will start petitioning to remove the mandates.

  14. AGrumpyOldMan_GA Member

    News flash: Biden will never lift this mandate. It's not about common sense but control. I mean, the virus magically spreads more in airplanes than in other indoor places where, as a vaccinated person (who is now boosted) I do not have to wear annoying masks.

    Until we can hopefully replace him in Jan. 2025, we are stuck with these masks on airplanes. "Put on your mask or I will have you arrested and fined...

    News flash: Biden will never lift this mandate. It's not about common sense but control. I mean, the virus magically spreads more in airplanes than in other indoor places where, as a vaccinated person (who is now boosted) I do not have to wear annoying masks.

    Until we can hopefully replace him in Jan. 2025, we are stuck with these masks on airplanes. "Put on your mask or I will have you arrested and fined $10k upon landing! ANd you will never fly again!!" This will be a deterrent to taking international flights because I do not want to waste miles and money on a degraded premium cabin experience by having to wear a mask for 8 hours or more. At least on a domestic flight, I can just keep a drink at hand so I can keep the mask off as long as possible.

    1. George Romey Guest

      Yep completely agree. Mask mandates on planes will be around as long as there is COVID hysteria and that will be minimally until 2023 (assuming both houses flip AND the encumbements actually have a spine).

    2. Hm8o New Member

      Just like Washington State, Inslee will never lift the mask mandate. It’s ridiculous and he is a joke along with Biden/Harris administration!

  15. AGrumpyOldMan_GA Member

    News flash: Biden will never lift this mandate. It's not about common sense but control. I mean, the virus magically spreads more in airplanes than in other indoor places where, as a vaccinated person (who is now boosted) I do not have to wear annoying masks.

    Until we can hopefully replace him in Jan. 2025, we are stuck with these masks on airplanes. "Put on your mask or I will have you arrested and fined...

    News flash: Biden will never lift this mandate. It's not about common sense but control. I mean, the virus magically spreads more in airplanes than in other indoor places where, as a vaccinated person (who is now boosted) I do not have to wear annoying masks.

    Until we can hopefully replace him in Jan. 2025, we are stuck with these masks on airplanes. "Put on your mask or I will have you arrested and fined $10k upon landing! ANd you will never fly again!!" This will be a deterrent to taking international flights because I do not want to waste miles and money on a degraded premium cabin experience by having to wear a mask for 8 hours or more. At least on a domestic flight, I can just keep a drink at hand so I can keep the mask off as long as possible.

  16. E. Guest

    It is permanent. They will never let this go, just like yearly travel bans, restrictions and lockdowns. I think there is a real concerted effort to destroy the travel industry - and frankly to take all joy out of life. The only thing that matters is avoiding a virus.

    1. Ken Guest

      Remember 20plus years ago when that idiot aboard a plane tried to blow it up with shoe explosives? We have been taking our shoes off ever since to board. Not a huge inconvenience. But this mask mandate being forced on us is ridiculous.

  17. D3kingg Guest

    Exceptions should be made for First class passengers on overnight flights. I already have shallow breathing . If I’ve had 3 vaccination shots and have already tested negative before exiting or re entering the US what is the point ? Masks should only be required for first class passengers on flights over 5 hours during takeoff and landing .

    1. MikeL1986 Guest

      If you are on a flight where everyone has to be vaccinated and/or test negative before travel, then nobody on that plane should have to wear a mask at all. Why would it just be for first class pax?

    2. D3kingg Guest

      @MikeL1986

      Because there is more room for social distancing in first class cabins on certain aircraft with lie flat seats.

  18. Speedbird Guest

    Wearing masks on planes with people sitting elbow to elbow on packed planes is pure theater at this point. People are over this already. The same science that tells us we have to wear a mask when walking from the entrance of a restaurant and then be able to take it off once you get to your table is the same science saying we have to wear a mask the whole flight but you can...

    Wearing masks on planes with people sitting elbow to elbow on packed planes is pure theater at this point. People are over this already. The same science that tells us we have to wear a mask when walking from the entrance of a restaurant and then be able to take it off once you get to your table is the same science saying we have to wear a mask the whole flight but you can take it off when eating or drinking. Not to mention the mandates for certain routes requiring you to be vaccinated or have a negative covid test prior to boarding, there shouldn't be a need to wear a mask on those routes.

    1. AGrumpyOldMan_GA Member

      Then it is time to vote appropriately. The politicians are the ones putting these mindless rules in place.

  19. SEM Guest

    Well the comments re: this didn't get as ridiculous as I thought they would, so that's a positive...IMHO the biggest issue regarding logical/civilized mask discussion is the "follow the science" group quickly abandons science when it comes to mask wearing, as it is viewed by so many as political ammunition...Do I think there are benefits, absolutely, do I agree with many that it is purely theatre on planes, at this point, yes...More and more service...

    Well the comments re: this didn't get as ridiculous as I thought they would, so that's a positive...IMHO the biggest issue regarding logical/civilized mask discussion is the "follow the science" group quickly abandons science when it comes to mask wearing, as it is viewed by so many as political ammunition...Do I think there are benefits, absolutely, do I agree with many that it is purely theatre on planes, at this point, yes...More and more service has been brought back, which many of us on here want, and as that service is brought back, masks are down/off more and more...I guess I just feel like either we are taking it seriously, or we aren't...Pick a lane, I am happy to travel down whichever path is taken, but don't offer more food, more snacks, more drinks, more services and then talk about how important masks being worn is...

    1. Max Guest

      Unfortunately most people can't distinguish between $cience and Science.

    2. jetset Member

      Totally agree. We don't even need to debate effectiveness of masks (I believe they are effective FWIW). However, there's a question of whether the policy (which, to be clear, is effective or necessary.

      Prior to COVID, people boarded planes and got others sick because they selfishly (or knowingly) decided to travel while sick. We lived with it as a risk of being in normal society.

      The whole reason we didn't continue with this behavior...

      Totally agree. We don't even need to debate effectiveness of masks (I believe they are effective FWIW). However, there's a question of whether the policy (which, to be clear, is effective or necessary.

      Prior to COVID, people boarded planes and got others sick because they selfishly (or knowingly) decided to travel while sick. We lived with it as a risk of being in normal society.

      The whole reason we didn't continue with this behavior for COVID was due to the novel nature, the lack of protection for those who are vulnerable, and the higher mortality rate, among other considerations. Now that we have tools to protect those who want it and are able to effectively reduce the mortality rate (again for folks who get vaccinated), I believe it calls into question how extensively we need to employ the same restrictions we used early in the pandemic.

      Again, I'm a mask wearing, rule-following person but when I'm flying in First class there are plenty of periods I don't have my mask on while eating and drinking. If I felt really concerned about my own safety I always have the option to wear an N-95 mask for the entire flight and have heightened protection via vaccination. I don't think that's an unreasonable world to shift to.

    3. jetset Member

      *(which, to be clear isn't a full mask mandate in reality because of the exceptions for eating and drinking - kind of like restaurants are "safe" to operate with everyone sitting with masks off indoors but gyms in many cities require masks at all times)

  20. Donna Diamond

    With all the hassles of flying international these days, the mask mandate is the least of my problems.

  21. Max Guest

    It will never go away. Klaus Schwab (founder of the cartel of power named 'World Economic Forum') in his book 'COVID-19: The Great Reset' dubbed it 'new normal' for a reason.

  22. tpajas Guest

    This is pandemic political science theater. Airlines have HEPA filltration systems, masks haven't worked anywhere up to this point, and are causing thousands of disruptions - including violent ones that have risen parabolically since this idiotic airline mask mandate was implementes. And covid has proliferated in a seasonal pattern the entire time, regardless. This is insane, costly, divisive, and completely ineffective. It needs to stop, but it seems like that's only going to happen once...

    This is pandemic political science theater. Airlines have HEPA filltration systems, masks haven't worked anywhere up to this point, and are causing thousands of disruptions - including violent ones that have risen parabolically since this idiotic airline mask mandate was implementes. And covid has proliferated in a seasonal pattern the entire time, regardless. This is insane, costly, divisive, and completely ineffective. It needs to stop, but it seems like that's only going to happen once Brandon goes away.

  23. MikeL1986 Guest

    I do believe that masks can work in specific situations. My problem with universal masking is that it doesn't make a lot of sense in a lot of situations. I'm sorry but if I am on a flight where everyone is vaccinated and also tested negative within 1 day of travel, there is zero reason that everyone on that plane should be masked. We've know for a year and a half that the virus does...

    I do believe that masks can work in specific situations. My problem with universal masking is that it doesn't make a lot of sense in a lot of situations. I'm sorry but if I am on a flight where everyone is vaccinated and also tested negative within 1 day of travel, there is zero reason that everyone on that plane should be masked. We've know for a year and a half that the virus does not spread on planes. I'm just tired of being told to "follow the science" when all of their "scientifically-based" restrictions completely contradict other things they say.

    At this point all restrictions need to stop. Everyone who wants a vaccine has had their chance to get one. Everyone else who chose not to get on is ok with the small risk to their personal health so we need to move on and let people do what is best for themselves.

  24. Recently Returned from US Guest

    I understand the mask mandate… but I’m pretty sure USA is the ONLY country requiring children as young as 2 wear masks. This is ridiculous. 2 years olds can’t even keep their clothes on, and it’s impossible to force a toddler to “comply”.
    Why does the US persist with this?! Why are 2 years olds considered more dangerous in the US?

    1. MikeL1986 Guest

      Yeah expecting 2 year olds to mask is ridiculous. Everyone else in the world knows that. The European CDC doesn't recommend masking for young children at all, including at school. There is no data that shows that masking provides any benefit to small kids. They are already not that likely to get infected compared to adults and have almost zero chance of a serious infection if they are free from health problems. The US government...

      Yeah expecting 2 year olds to mask is ridiculous. Everyone else in the world knows that. The European CDC doesn't recommend masking for young children at all, including at school. There is no data that shows that masking provides any benefit to small kids. They are already not that likely to get infected compared to adults and have almost zero chance of a serious infection if they are free from health problems. The US government is too obsessed with masks to admit that they don't make sense for everyone in every setting.

  25. LarryInNYC Member

    "while initial research suggests it’s not too bad in terms of severity and vaccines seem to work well against it,"

    If you're aware of any such research then a link to that research might be beneficial. I'm not aware of any such research and, indeed, it's difficult to imagine a research project having been mounted in the week or so since the existence of the variant was announced.

    1. Dom Guest

      "Based on "early indications," [Israel] Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz also stated that there is room for optimism that existing vaccines might protect against serious sickness from the super-strain. According to an Israeli news channel, the Pfizer vaccine was 90% effective in preventing symptomatic Omicron infection. The super mutant is just 30% more contagious than the dominant Delta form, which is far lower than previously anticipated, reported Daily Mail citing Channel 12.

      "Based on "early indications," [Israel] Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz also stated that there is room for optimism that existing vaccines might protect against serious sickness from the super-strain. According to an Israeli news channel, the Pfizer vaccine was 90% effective in preventing symptomatic Omicron infection. The super mutant is just 30% more contagious than the dominant Delta form, which is far lower than previously anticipated, reported Daily Mail citing Channel 12.

  26. Alex Guest

    Everyone who is asserting that mask wearing is “theater” and not effective in preventing the spread of COVID is just wrong.

    Just two weeks ago The Guardian reported that “Mask-wearing is the single most effective public health measure at tackling Covid, according to the first global study of its kind, which found that the measure was linked to a 53% fall in the incidence of the disease.”

    So stop saying masks don’t work as...

    Everyone who is asserting that mask wearing is “theater” and not effective in preventing the spread of COVID is just wrong.

    Just two weeks ago The Guardian reported that “Mask-wearing is the single most effective public health measure at tackling Covid, according to the first global study of its kind, which found that the measure was linked to a 53% fall in the incidence of the disease.”

    So stop saying masks don’t work as your excuse not to wear one. It’s easy to mask up, it helps stop the spread of COVID which saves lives, just be a decent person and do it.

    1. Tim Dunn Gold

      please provide a link

    2. Alex Guest

      Here’s the link: https://static.guim.co.uk/images/favicon-32x32.ico

      If that doesn’t work just google “Mask-wearing linked to 53% cut in Covid incidence, global study finds”

    3. MS Guest

      First, this "meta analysis" is a joke. This is a marketing study for headliine news effect, not science. If a 53% reduction was real, we would see it in empirical data. We don't. There is literally no observable evidence in real life that masking healthy, asymptomatic people reduces viral spread. It's ridiculous to even think that it does, as virions are much smaller than smoke particles, and you can breath and smell in a common...

      First, this "meta analysis" is a joke. This is a marketing study for headliine news effect, not science. If a 53% reduction was real, we would see it in empirical data. We don't. There is literally no observable evidence in real life that masking healthy, asymptomatic people reduces viral spread. It's ridiculous to even think that it does, as virions are much smaller than smoke particles, and you can breath and smell in a common cloth or surgical mask that doesn't have any respiration. RCT's on IFI's (influenza like illnesses) have proven masks completely ineffective for decades - and now, in a hyper divisive and political worldwide environment - we are to believe that wearing a mask cuts your risk in half? Give me a break.

    4. Alex Guest

      I am sorry but there are plenty of empirical studies showing that mask wearing is effective. The only real question is how effective are the various types of masks. Requiring at least KN95 masks would be smart and possible at this point because the supply shortage has been addressed.

      I work in an industry that has used masks, and other common sense precautions along with testing to get people back to work safely. Even pre-vaccine...

      I am sorry but there are plenty of empirical studies showing that mask wearing is effective. The only real question is how effective are the various types of masks. Requiring at least KN95 masks would be smart and possible at this point because the supply shortage has been addressed.

      I work in an industry that has used masks, and other common sense precautions along with testing to get people back to work safely. Even pre-vaccine data was clear that common sense solutions dramatically reduced the spread of COVID. You are just wrong and spreading mis-information by saying masks don’t work.

    5. Tim Dunn Gold

      thank you for replying and I hope you did read the actual linked study and not just the Guardian's summary of it.

      This is what the study said specifically about mask wearing.

      "Previous literature reviews have identified mask wearing as an effective measure for the containment of SARS-CoV-2104; the caveat being that more high level evidence is required to provide unequivocal support for the effectiveness of the universal use of face masks.105106 Additional empirical evidence...

      thank you for replying and I hope you did read the actual linked study and not just the Guardian's summary of it.

      This is what the study said specifically about mask wearing.

      "Previous literature reviews have identified mask wearing as an effective measure for the containment of SARS-CoV-2104; the caveat being that more high level evidence is required to provide unequivocal support for the effectiveness of the universal use of face masks.105106 Additional empirical evidence from a recent randomised controlled trial (originally published as a preprint) indicates that mask wearing achieved a 9.3% reduction in seroprevalence of symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection and an 11.9% reduction in the prevalence of covid-19-like symptoms.107 Another systematic review showed stronger effectiveness with the use of N95, or similar, respirators than disposable surgical masks,108 and a study evaluating the protection offered by 18 different types of fabric masks found substantial heterogeneity in protection, with the most effective mask being multilayered and tight fitting.109 However, transmission of SARS-CoV-2 largely arises in hospital settings in which full personal protective measures are in place, which suggests that when viral load is at its highest, even the best performing face masks might not provide adequate protection.51 Additionally, most studies that assessed mask wearing were prone to important confounding bias, which might have altered the conclusions drawn from this review (ie, effect estimates might have been underestimated or overestimated or can be related to other measures that were in place at the time the studies were conducted). Thus, the extent of such limitations on the conclusions drawn remain unknown.

      and

      "Mask wearing and covid-19 incidence—Six studies with a total of 2627 people with covid-19 and 389 228 participants were included in the analysis examining the effect of mask wearing on incidence of covid-19 (table 1).364357606366 Overall pooled analysis showed a 53% reduction in covid-19 incidence (0.47, 0.29 to 0.75), although heterogeneity between studies was substantial (I2=84%) (fig 5). Risk of bias across the six studies ranged from moderate36576066 to serious or critical4363 (fig 2)."

      In other words, the researchers themselves that looked at multiple different studies cannot say with certainty that non-surgical masks as worn by the public markedly reduced, let alone eliminated covid transmission - which is exactly I said in the first place.

      The studies show that covid mitigation works best w/ a combination of measures including vaccination which has been held to a very high level of statistical verifiability. Other factors including non-surgical mask wearing each provide minimal effectiveness in reducing the transmission of disease and it is very hard to say that positively or negatively with any degree of certainty although the combination of multiple strategies combined do provide significant protection.

    6. Alex Guest

      Tim I appreciate that (as opposed to Airfarer and Notbad41) you actually read the article and then even looked at the BMJ study.
      As you cited above the BMJ study did state that:
      "Additional empirical evidence from a recent randomised controlled trial (originally published as a preprint) indicates that mask wearing achieved a 9.3% reduction in seroprevalence of symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection and an 11.9% reduction in the prevalence of covid-19-like symptoms"

      So even...

      Tim I appreciate that (as opposed to Airfarer and Notbad41) you actually read the article and then even looked at the BMJ study.
      As you cited above the BMJ study did state that:
      "Additional empirical evidence from a recent randomised controlled trial (originally published as a preprint) indicates that mask wearing achieved a 9.3% reduction in seroprevalence of symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection and an 11.9% reduction in the prevalence of covid-19-like symptoms"

      So even if regular cloth masks reduce a 9-11% reduction in COVID that still has a dramstic impact on the spread of COVID when you are looking at the entire populations of countries.

      I would fully support that all plane passengers have to at least wear KN95 masks because they are much more effective but saying that cloth or regular masks have no impact and ther eis no point also isn't true.

      There is plenty of evidence that masks (evend cloth masks) do work. Obviously depending on the mask the effectiveness in preventing covid increases:
      https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/science/science-briefs/masking-science-sars-cov2.html

    7. Tim Dunn Gold

      I am more than happy to have a civil, productive discussion w/ those that look at the data and science and set their biases aside.

      The meta-analysis (which was really an analysis of multiple studies on multiple mitigation strategies to determine what works) could not statistically with a high degree of confidence determine how much mask wearing helps because they legitimately cannot separate one factor from another.

      The problem w/ airline mask mandates is...

      I am more than happy to have a civil, productive discussion w/ those that look at the data and science and set their biases aside.

      The meta-analysis (which was really an analysis of multiple studies on multiple mitigation strategies to determine what works) could not statistically with a high degree of confidence determine how much mask wearing helps because they legitimately cannot separate one factor from another.

      The problem w/ airline mask mandates is that the study specifically noted that the 3 factors that are most likely to work together are handwashing, social distancing, and mask wearing.

      The problem w/ airline mask mandates is that they pick one factor out of a group of 3 strategies and hold it as THE strategy that will make a difference -when the study specifically says there isn't data to say that. Social distancing on an airplane doesn't exist; in fact, airplanes are more densely packed than just about any other environment. When actual scientific data says that social distancing is just as important, then you can't pick out just one of 3 factors and argue it will do the trick when you are below normal social norms on the others.

      Same thing is true w/ handwashing - which is the single most effective mechanism to limit disease spread. People on airplanes not only touch more foreign surfaces generally w/o the opportunity to wash their hands (although some airlines like Delta still give out wipes and have hand sanitizer stations on their planes - if you can get to one), science has also shown that the general public touches their faces many times more often when wearing masks which INCREASES disease spread.

      Thus, picking one factor while ignoring two others that matter is logically and scientifically poor.

      The United/DoD study as well as a couple others are far more relevant to covid spread on airplanes because they simulate the exact environment where masks are mandated (besides airports).

      and, again, the study specifically notes that covid transmission is not stopped EVEN IN hospital settings w/ the best PPE worn by medical professionals. So a 10% reduction of covid spread in an airplane environment MIGHT NOT really be any better than what happens in a medical setting w/ high performance PPE.

      If 90% of the covid particles are still capable of impacting me, I for one do not count a mask as worth anything at all.

      Combined w/ a vaccine, good general health, proper personal hygiene, etc, I am comfortable living in the covid era and have and will continue to travel by air, using common sense.

    8. Alex Guest

      Tim, now you are losing me because all the studies actually show that COVID transmission from surfaces is very low risk. Saying that is a bigger risk than airborne transmission is just incorrect. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/more/science-and-research/surface-transmission.html

      I obviously support hand washing/sanitizing, social distancing, vaccines, etc and would fully support having passengers wash/sanitize their hands on a regular basis(or at least before meals and after using the lavatory). However, saying that we shouldn't do one because we aren't...

      Tim, now you are losing me because all the studies actually show that COVID transmission from surfaces is very low risk. Saying that is a bigger risk than airborne transmission is just incorrect. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/more/science-and-research/surface-transmission.html

      I obviously support hand washing/sanitizing, social distancing, vaccines, etc and would fully support having passengers wash/sanitize their hands on a regular basis(or at least before meals and after using the lavatory). However, saying that we shouldn't do one because we aren't doing everything else doesn't make sense.

      Also, you are incorrect about PPE and ventilator masks not being effective in stopping the transmission of COVID. As you quoted above the BMJ study even states: "other systematic review showed stronger effectiveness with the use of N95, or similar, respirators than disposable surgical masks, and a study evaluating the protection offered by 18 different types of fabric masks found substantial heterogeneity in protection, with the most effective mask being multilayered and tight fitting."

      The BMJ study did say that COVID transmission is the highest in a hospital which makes total sense because that's where the sickest most infectious people are concentrated. You are comparing the risk of transmitting/catching COVID in a hospital full or sick people to a plane where there might be a handful of sick people. The chances of having a mask fail and then getting sick is obviously much higher when you are around really sick COVID patients all day every day.

      Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Wearing a mask isn't a big deal(for work I have to wear a KN95 for 8-12 hours a day). I don't understand why you would refuse to wear one and would complain about having to wear one on a plane.

    9. Tim Dunn Gold

      I'm sorry, Alex, but you can't pick and choose what parts of the research you want to believe. Either it is research and you believe it all or you don't believe it.

      The article includes handwashing because it has been well established to be the most effective way to control the spread of disease. That is no different from covid and it is because touching your face and then other surfaces is a means of...

      I'm sorry, Alex, but you can't pick and choose what parts of the research you want to believe. Either it is research and you believe it all or you don't believe it.

      The article includes handwashing because it has been well established to be the most effective way to control the spread of disease. That is no different from covid and it is because touching your face and then other surfaces is a means of virus and bacteria transmission.

      The article also specifically says that hospital grade PPE worn by professionals does not stop the transmission of the covid virus but it reduces it.

      You can either accept what the article says in its entirety or you can push your own biases.

      You can't pick and choose own part of the research findings - that masks work - and then reject other parts including the limitations on what the researchers found about mask strategies.

    10. Alex Guest

      Tim, I included a link to the CDC that clearly stated that airborne transmission is the real risk for COVID not surface transmission. Besides if mask wearing made people touch there faces more and therefore get sick more often then the mask wearing should result in higher transmission rates. That is not the case even with the worst masks that still demonstrated a 9-11% prevention rate.

      And yes, anyone can still get sick if they...

      Tim, I included a link to the CDC that clearly stated that airborne transmission is the real risk for COVID not surface transmission. Besides if mask wearing made people touch there faces more and therefore get sick more often then the mask wearing should result in higher transmission rates. That is not the case even with the worst masks that still demonstrated a 9-11% prevention rate.

      And yes, anyone can still get sick if they wear full PPE but the chances of them getting sick is insignificant when compared to someone not wearing any PPE. Even in hospitals Doctors and Nurses work in COVID wards for months without getting sick because of their respirators. Yes, some do still get sick but most don’t. You are taking the study out of context in a effort to support your ill informed position that mask wearing isn’t effective.

      Again, I don’t understand why you would argue about wearing masks on a plane. They have been proven to make a significant difference in stopping the spread of COVID. Just wear one, it’s not a big deal.

    11. traci frost Guest

      Alex anything you are quoting or using from the CDC is at any point, complete and utter propaganda.
      The CDC isn't a public health agency it is a private agency with heavily vested interests in the pharmaceutical industry. Particularly the vaccines industry. It must be held accountable for public harm. Research the CDC before quoting anything from their pseudoscience agenda.

    12. Andy Guest

      I 100% agree that mask wearing does work, but my issue is that it does not do any good on a plane when anyone can have their mask off for 1/2 of the flight when they are eating. If a person is eating for 1/2 of the flight, why can't other people take off their mask for 1/2 of the time? Exposure does not matter if you are eating or not. It we are so...

      I 100% agree that mask wearing does work, but my issue is that it does not do any good on a plane when anyone can have their mask off for 1/2 of the flight when they are eating. If a person is eating for 1/2 of the flight, why can't other people take off their mask for 1/2 of the time? Exposure does not matter if you are eating or not. It we are so concerned about exposure on an airplane, masks should be required 100% of the time, and eating not allowed. If not, why have the policy?

    13. Alex Guest

      I understand that frustration(And I wish everyone took mask wearing more seriously all the time) but it doesn’t justify not mandating masks at all. Even with the pandemic, in 2021 over 2.2 billion people took flights around the world. On that scale of contact some passengers only wearing masks 50% of the time can still have a huge impact of slowing the spread of the disease. When you think about it longer international flights now...

      I understand that frustration(And I wish everyone took mask wearing more seriously all the time) but it doesn’t justify not mandating masks at all. Even with the pandemic, in 2021 over 2.2 billion people took flights around the world. On that scale of contact some passengers only wearing masks 50% of the time can still have a huge impact of slowing the spread of the disease. When you think about it longer international flights now require negative tests and on shorter domestic flights no test is required but most people do have the justification to take their mask off because no meal is getting served.

    14. Airfarer Member

      The Guardian? The global warming, polar bears are dying, don't eat meat to save the planet Guardian?
      Now that's a reliable information source.

    15. Notbad41 Member

      It’s on the internet, so it has to be true. Haha

    16. Alex Guest

      Ok, if any of you actually read the Guardian article before responding you would have noticed that the author cites the actual British Medical Journal(BMJ) study:

      “This systematic review and meta analysis suggests that several personal protective and social measures, including handwashing, mask wearing, and physical distancing are associated with reductions in the incidence of Covid-19,” the researchers wrote in the BMJ.
      They said the results highlight the need to continue mask wearing, social...

      Ok, if any of you actually read the Guardian article before responding you would have noticed that the author cites the actual British Medical Journal(BMJ) study:

      “This systematic review and meta analysis suggests that several personal protective and social measures, including handwashing, mask wearing, and physical distancing are associated with reductions in the incidence of Covid-19,” the researchers wrote in the BMJ.
      They said the results highlight the need to continue mask wearing, social distancing and handwashing alongside vaccine programmes.“

      Here’s a link to the actual BMJ article that supports that masks are effective: https://www.bmj.com/content/375/bmj-2021-068302

      Sometimes when you actually read something it you find out it is in fact true. . . But that only works if you actually read before posting misinformation and reactionary responses.

    17. masimons Member

      Major updates were made to all planes ventilation and filter system, masks do very little.

    18. Alex Guest

      No, that is not factually correct - masks actually do a lot and can significantly reduce the spread of COVID. If you actually read the article, the BMJ study, did a rudimentary google search on mask effectiveness you can easily see that the evidence shows masks work. Plane ventilation and filtration help, just like vaccines, just line social distancing, just like masks. They all help slow the spread of the virus.

    19. E. Guest

      That 'study' is total bunkum just like the Bangladesh study.

      Read other countries' pandemic preparedness plans for real science not this hell we've been living through that is New Normal.

    20. Alex Guest

      E. I am sure you will take no offense when I say I trust the British Medical Journal and the scientists that do the peer review to approve what gets published more than your personal opinion. But I am sure you do your own “research” and therefore think you are more qualified to make those judgements than the scientist who have PHD’s that are specialized in the topic at hand.

    21. Patriots Guest

      Hi Dr Fauci, nice to have you joining in.

  27. _ar Guest

    You have 9/11 security theater going on 20 years later.... anyone thinking masks are going away soon are naïve....

    1. Samo Guest

      I flew mask-less yesterday as did 95% of my fellow passengers and the entire crew. So yeah, it is going away.

      (GOT-ARN on SK)

  28. Ryan Guest

    I've been in Sweden for a month. Very rarely do I see anyone wearing masks. Had a few domestic flights in the last week, maybe about 25% of people wore them in the airport or on the flights.

    What's most interesting is that even while most of Europe experiences new highs, maskless Sweden has the 4th lowest case rate in Europe. Look it up.

    I appreciate that masks can empower people to feel more...

    I've been in Sweden for a month. Very rarely do I see anyone wearing masks. Had a few domestic flights in the last week, maybe about 25% of people wore them in the airport or on the flights.

    What's most interesting is that even while most of Europe experiences new highs, maskless Sweden has the 4th lowest case rate in Europe. Look it up.

    I appreciate that masks can empower people to feel more confident to travel or resume normal activities. Giving them a sense they can control their environment in some way. The real world examples seem to show that whatever value masks have is relatively small when considering outcomes.

    Doesn't help that very few people wear masks properly or consistently.

    I'm not necessarily anti-mask. If airlines or private businesses want to require them, it's my choice to use their service/product. Just like if they mandated wearing a garlic clove around my neck to deter vampire attacks. I'd wear the garlic and laugh at the silliness of it all. Just like I do every time I see someone lower their mask to speak with a flight attendant, take a phone call, or sneeze... which is something you'll see 100 times a day if you pay attention.

    1. Samo Guest

      Amen, except 25% is way too high. My domestic flights in SE usually get around 2-3% pax in masks.

  29. Jeffrey I Chang Guest

    Does anyone remember "100 days of masking"? Pepperidge Farms, remembers.

    1. Steve Diamond

      Remember 2 weeks to flatten the curve!!!!!....haha

  30. Juan Guest

    I know we are mainly focused on air travel here, but I believe this also extends to all travel too (i.e. Amtrak and public transport). Every time I ride the bus to work, the announcement says "per federal law, all passengers must wear a face mask..." while boarding.

  31. Steve Diamond

    I think im in the minority of not caring about the masks but not for the reasons you think.

    Clearly they do not work, its laughable that people still think they actually do something despite the science and data proving they do nothing (or just common sense the openings in masks are thousands of times larger than the virus)

    I am for masks because they are annoying and makes people hesitate or give pause to...

    I think im in the minority of not caring about the masks but not for the reasons you think.

    Clearly they do not work, its laughable that people still think they actually do something despite the science and data proving they do nothing (or just common sense the openings in masks are thousands of times larger than the virus)

    I am for masks because they are annoying and makes people hesitate or give pause to traveling just a little bit, this keeps the crowds somewhat down and stops a little bit of unnecessary travel.

  32. Tim Dunn Gold

    The US airline mask mandate will end when the Biden administration has been swept out of office.
    Despite nearly 2 years of the pandemic, there is no scientific evidence that non-surgical mask wearing by the public in western settings actually reduces disease. Absolutely none.
    I am all for strategies that work.
    I am not for repeating the same untested and unproven hypotheses 2 years into a pandemic.
    If United can prove...

    The US airline mask mandate will end when the Biden administration has been swept out of office.
    Despite nearly 2 years of the pandemic, there is no scientific evidence that non-surgical mask wearing by the public in western settings actually reduces disease. Absolutely none.
    I am all for strategies that work.
    I am not for repeating the same untested and unproven hypotheses 2 years into a pandemic.
    If United can prove that there is no transmission of covid in an aircraft setting within the first few months of a pandemic, then the US government needs to back up its mandates with real, proven science.

    1. James S Guest

      This comment should be deleted for spreading misinformation.

      The lie: " there is no scientific evidence that non-surgical mask wearing by the public in western settings actually reduces disease. "

      The facts: "Jurisdictions with mask mandates averaged 15.8 cases per day for every 100,000 residents, compared to 21.7 in unmasked communities"
      https://missouriindependent.com/2021/12/01/missouri-health-department-found-mask-mandates-work-but-didnt-make-findings-public/

    2. Tim Dunn Gold

      Is cloth mask worn in a public setting by the western public work to prevent Covid transmission, then you should be able to provide a link. It is not miss information to ask you to justify the rationale you are using for your arguments anymore than it is to ask the same thing at the US government

    3. JC Guest

      "The facts: "Jurisdictions with mask mandates averaged 15.8 cases per day for every 100,000 residents, compared to 21.7 in unmasked communities""

      That elementary analysis fails to account for behavioral differences. Typical disingenuous media.

    4. E. Guest

      That study is complete garbage.

    5. RCB Guest

      Tim, you know this is an absolute lie, and no matter how many times you say it, it doesn't make it true. Your lie is also deadly and will lead to people dying, so be a man, pull up your stupid panties, put on your mask, and deal with it, because the rest of us are trying to save lives here, you can kill everyone when you run your own country.

    6. Your daddy Guest

      Then how does Florida which has zero mitigation methods have the lowest Covid rate in the country currently??? I guess now it's cancel culture and deletion for comments you disagree with. You guys can stay inside and not live your life out of fear! I won't.

    7. James S Guest

      I posted a link showing the comment is a 100% lie and it should be deleted but apparently Ben doesn't care about his part in spreading misinformation.

    8. Speedbird Guest

      " the rest of us are trying to save lives here" LOL no you're not. The "if it saves just one life" crowd are quick to wish the unvaccinated get covid and die along with anyone else that does not go along with the "Follow the Science" narrative.

    9. Hm8o New Member

      Just like Washington State, Inslee will never lift the mask mandate. It’s ridiculous and he is a joke along with Biden/Harris administration!

  33. Josh Guest

    I’m not a huge fan of wearing masks for prolonged periods of time BUT I have firsthand experience with seeing that masks really are effective (when worn properly), so this mandate extension seems pretty sensible to me. I don’t, however, seeing it being extended for years to come. Although who knows really…I thought this would all be done last summer, then delta (and now omicron) said not so fast. Frustrating, but it is what it is.

  34. steven kapellas Guest

    In Germany right now, scheduled for travel tomorrow. Got negative test result last night. If Biden screws us over with 24 hour rule, please PayPal me cash for hotel room. Done with insanity and knee jerk reactions.

    1. Jan Guest

      What’s the problem. In Frankfurt airport you go to ecocare and get a antigen test in 15 minutes. Cost 29 Euro. That’s it. If you are a German citizen you get it for free (bürgertest)

    2. E. Guest

      Antiegn is not allowed for Americans only over-cycled PCR which has a false positive rate of 75-90% (Michael Mina, Harvard). If we did not test like this - imagine - there would BE no pandemic.

  35. masimons Member

    My intolerance with this circus limits me to flights of under 4hours, and I second guess those.
    Used to do mileage runs for fun cross country too.

  36. chris Guest

    I am glad its extended. Sure. Although with airlines allowing pax eating and drinking all flight long..... the loophole is just too big.

    I'd suggest fed looking into vax mandate. That would be more effective, and less morons complaining about masks with fists.

  37. BookLvr Member

    I'm actually thinking I may wear a mask on airplanes moving forward regardless of the law, taking a page from many East Asian travelers.

    I am a college professor and we routinely wear masks in indoor spaces on campus at this point, and honestly, it's not a bad idea, especially in the winter months. In addition to COVID, I have had students diagnosed with a variety of other contagious illness like bronchitis and mono,...

    I'm actually thinking I may wear a mask on airplanes moving forward regardless of the law, taking a page from many East Asian travelers.

    I am a college professor and we routinely wear masks in indoor spaces on campus at this point, and honestly, it's not a bad idea, especially in the winter months. In addition to COVID, I have had students diagnosed with a variety of other contagious illness like bronchitis and mono, and I don't want those either. Obviously students stay home once they are diagnosed with a contagious illness, but if that happens right after I've seen them, I'm glad we were both masked at our last class session. The masks aren't perfect, but they are one piece of the puzzle, as is requiring flu shots and COVID vaccines for our residential population. I will take reduced risk over full risk.

  38. Samo Guest

    "Even if the United States were to lift its mask mandate for aviation, other countries might not"
    Surprisingly few countries actually have any mandates.

    For example, Flyr doesn't require masks on any flights, even though they fly to several EU countries. There simply isn't any legal requirement beyond airlines' own policies.

  39. James Guest

    The virus theatre continues. ENOUGH WITH THIS NONSENSE!

    1. Alonzo Gold

      People want mask wearing to be extended. We'll be wearing masks until 2023, mark my words. Nothing is going to stop this gravy train.

    2. Joe1293 Guest

      @Alonzo
      You mean until January 2025

    3. D3kingg Guest

      @James

      Follow the science. I am the science. Overlord fauci and the mask mafia.

  40. pstm91 Diamond

    The mask mandate on airlines is theater at this point. Early on people took it seriously, but on my last few flights tons of people were wearing them under their nose, keeping them off way before and after they finished eating/drinking, and there was very little enforcement.

    1. Jan Guest

      Would be great to end this for international first and business class. People have save distance there. And it would be good for airline revenues. In eco I doesn’t care because I don’t fly eco

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

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Tim Dunn Gold

The US airline mask mandate will end when the Biden administration has been swept out of office. Despite nearly 2 years of the pandemic, there is no scientific evidence that non-surgical mask wearing by the public in western settings actually reduces disease. Absolutely none. I am all for strategies that work. I am not for repeating the same untested and unproven hypotheses 2 years into a pandemic. If United can prove that there is no transmission of covid in an aircraft setting within the first few months of a pandemic, then the US government needs to back up its mandates with real, proven science.

5
Jeffrey I Chang Guest

Does anyone remember "100 days of masking"? Pepperidge Farms, remembers.

4
MikeL1986 Guest

I do believe that masks can work in specific situations. My problem with universal masking is that it doesn't make a lot of sense in a lot of situations. I'm sorry but if I am on a flight where everyone is vaccinated and also tested negative within 1 day of travel, there is zero reason that everyone on that plane should be masked. We've know for a year and a half that the virus does not spread on planes. I'm just tired of being told to "follow the science" when all of their "scientifically-based" restrictions completely contradict other things they say. At this point all restrictions need to stop. Everyone who wants a vaccine has had their chance to get one. Everyone else who chose not to get on is ok with the small risk to their personal health so we need to move on and let people do what is best for themselves.

3
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