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Man sits on airplane wearing a medical face mask with woman and child sitting next to him in the same row, out of focus
H_Ko | Adobe Stock

Masks Are Now Optional on These U.S. Airlines

SmarterTravel

Following the ruling of a federal judge in Florida that struck down the mask mandate on public transportation, the Biden administration just announced that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will no longer require face coverings in airports and on planes.

Most U.S. airlines have reacted to this announcement by making masks optional on flights for all employees and passengers, effective immediately. Masks may continue to be required on international flights, depending on regulations in the destination country.

As Delta Airlines noted in a statement, “Given the unexpected nature of this announcement, please be aware that customers, airline employees and federal agency employees, such as TSA, may be receiving this information at different times. You may experience inconsistent enforcement during the next 24 hours as this news is more broadly communicated.”

U.S. Airlines No Longer Requiring Masks

These U.S. airlines have announced that face coverings will no longer be required on flights:

  • Alaska Airlines
  • American Airlines
  • Delta Airlines
  • Frontier Airlines
  • JetBlue Airlines
  • Southwest Airlines
  • Spirit Airlines
  • United Airlines

Many ground transportation providers have dropped the mask requirement as well, including Uber, Amtrak, and the Washington, DC, Metro system.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) still recommends “people continue to wear masks in indoor public transportation settings.” All of the airlines that have lifted the mask requirement have noted that customers are still welcome to wear a face covering if they choose.

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