Thanks! You're all signed up.

X
A line of people looking for their seats on the plane and wearing protective face masks
Rawpixel.com | Adobe Stock

5 Types of Face Masks That Are Banned From Planes

SmarterTravel

Face masks on planes are going to be mandatory for quite some time, so if you’re planning a flight, it’s important to know what kinds won’t be accepted on board. Leave the cloth masks and gaiters behind and pack these types instead. 

Cloth Masks

Janna | Adobe Stock

Although cloth masks are still acceptable on the majority of U.S. airlines, a growing number of international carriers are no longer allowing fabric masks―instead, they require passengers to wear surgical masks, FFP2, KN95, or N95s which are proven to be more effective at preventing the spread of viruses. Finnair, Air France, Lufthansa, and LATAM Airlines have all banned cloth masks in-flight. 

Instead: The shape of the Kimberly-Clark N95 Pouch Mask may make it look odd, but it keeps the mask away from your face and makes it more comfortable to wear than a cloth mask.

Masks With Vents

orlio | Adobe Stock

Face masks with vents were originally designed for workers in industrial settings, but they’ve become popular during the pandemic. However, it’s pretty obvious that the vent defeats the purpose of a mask in containing viruses. The CDC advises against wearing face masks with vents, and airlines do not consider them to be acceptable face coverings. 

Instead: BYD Care’s surgical masks are breathable while still being protective. 

Plastic Face Shields

Kalim | Adobe Stock

Plastic face shields are permitted, but only if you wear a mask underneath that covers your nose and mouth as well. Pair a plastic face shield with mystcare’s surgical masks, which come individually wrapped so they’ll stay sanitary in your bag. 

Bandanas

Sean M | Adobe Stock

Bandanas offer almost no protection against COVID-19 transmission, which is why airlines don’t permit them onboard. 

Instead: This N95 mask has soft head straps instead of earloops, which will be more comfortable on your ears for long flights. 

Single Layer Gaiters

MelissaMN | Adobe Stock

Many airlines do not accept gaiters as face coverings onboard. (However, a few airlines, such as Southwest and Delta, will allow gaiters if they have two layers of fabric.)

Instead: A surgical mask with ties offers more protection than a neck gaiter but is adjustable for your comfort. 

You Might Also Like:

CDC Changes Travel Warning Levels for 19 Destinations
6 Embarrassing Travel Gadgets That Actually Work
CDC Takes 6 Countries Off Do Not Travel List
13 Best Bubble Baths To Help You Unwind
5 Apps You Need for COVID Travel

We hand-pick everything we recommend and select items through testing and reviews. Some products are sent to us free of charge with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions and do not accept compensation to review products. All items are in stock and prices are accurate at the time of publication. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Top Fares From