nach a federal judge struck On Monday, a nationwide mask requirement for planes, trains, buses and other public transportation, the country’s largest airlines said they would stop requiring masks on flights, ending a practice most carriers have followed for nearly two years.
The airlines took action after a Biden administration official said the Transportation Safety Administration would no longer enforce the mask requirement as the White House reviewed the judge’s decision and decided whether to appeal.
Here’s what some of the largest US airlines have to say.
In a statement, American said Customers and employees may wear face masks “at their own discretion,” but would no longer be required to do so on flights within the United States. “We are deeply grateful to our team members for their application of the mandates and will be sharing more information on this transition in the coming days,” said American.
Southwest said in a statement that employees and customers would be free “to make the best decision to support their personal well-being” and have taken note of the high-end air filtration systems installed on the planes that use it and on other carriers.
ace Delta announced which would stop requiring masks, also asked the public to be patient with the change in policy and take the time to update signs and notices. “Given the unexpected nature of this announcement, please be aware that customers, airline employees and employees of federal agencies, such as TSA, may receive this information at different times,” she said. “You may encounter an inconsistent application in the next 24 hours.”
United said it will stop requiring masks on domestic flights, but will still require them on flights to countries with mask mandates. “While this means that our employees are no longer required to wear a mask – and no longer have to impose a mask requirement for the majority of the flying public – they will be able to wear masks if they choose to, while the CDC continues to strongly recommend wearing a mask on public transport, “the airline said.
In a statement to customers, Alaska said it welcomed the opportunity to “see your smiling faces” and thanked them for their patience with the changing rules and directions during the pandemic. “It’s been 24 long months with almost constant changes,” said Max Tidwell, the airline’s vice president of safety and security, in the statement.
JetBlue announced its change in a brief statement, noting that “wearing the mask will now be optional”, although customers and flight crews are still “welcome” to wear masks in terminals and on airplanes.
Masks will now be optional on domestic flights, Spirit said late Monday. “We understand that some guests may want to continue wearing face masks on flights, and that’s perfectly fine,” the company said.
Frontier said that while it will stop requiring masks on its planes, the masks may still be required by some of the airports and cities it serves. “Customers and team members should continue to adhere to the rules of the mask within any facility that may require it,” she said. “Under CDC guidelines, regardless of whether a mask mandate is in place, people are encouraged to continue wearing masks indoors.”