While US carriers are forced to add stricter mask requirements, Cathay Pacific is going in the other direction.
The Hong Kong based airline now exempts lie-flat business and first class passengers from wearing a mask while they are laying down in lie-flat mode.
Cathay confirmed to me that this applies systemwide, including on flights to and from the US.
They wrote to me that “Seats in First and Business Class are more spacious with partitions, and passengers are exempted from wearing a mask when lying flat.” They continued, that while their hospital operating room standard HEPA filters kill 99.999% of airborne contaminates and viruses, the mask requirement remains in lower cabins as the HEPA filter won’t protect those sitting within 6 feet of you. However that’s not a concern in lie-flat business or first class seats as the combination of additional space, partitions between all seats, and HEPA filters mean that masks are no longer required.
Cathay isn’t the only airline taking this position. Many readers have flown Qatar Airways during the pandemic and they haven’t enforced face mask requirements for customers sitting in business class.
Do you think more airlines will loosen mask requirements in lie-flat seats?