Cathay Pacific No Longer Requiring Face Masks In Business Or First Class Lie Flat Seats

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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?

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25 Comments On "Cathay Pacific No Longer Requiring Face Masks In Business Or First Class Lie Flat Seats"

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Pandemics do discriminate...

… against anyone but the rich


I don’t personally have a problem with this – however, I don’t understand why only when lie flat? So laying down and sitting up eating is “safe”, but sitting up while not eating isnt?


I definitely hope more airlines will follow.
For example, there’s no logical reason someone in a DL suite should need to wear mask. But unfortunately they’re now subject to the new federal law 🙁

Slow Joe

I think it’s time for airlines to exempt those who present proof of being fully vaccinated.
If such rules were implemented, many more people will put aside their reluctancy to get vaccinated especially if this is done not just with air travel but all forms of public travel and venues, IE cruises, sports events…
Although now that the federal government took over the rule making it’s unlikely.


As of now they still don’t know if the vaccines block transmission (in other words even though only a tiny fraction of the vaccinated will get sick they may still contract the virus asymptomaticaly and pass it on) of the virus and to what degree they do so until they have data on that they aren’t going to allow exemptions they are telling everyone who gets vaccinated to continue wearing masks for now ,
Preliminary data from astrazeneca showed that transmission was blocked around 60% of the time


I flew Qatar in August between Australia and the US. They did require face masks of business passengers, even if lying flat. However, it was not enforced.


I ask again, if masks can magically stop a virus (they can’t) then why does anyone wearing one care if anyone else is wearing one? Such dumbness on display.


I’m sure you have 100% scientific proof that mask are not effective in stopping a virus.
No, a facebook or youtube video doesn’t count.


I heard from someone who flew LHR-NYC in business on BA in summer – no mask enforced (also flight was almost empty 😉

dementia biden

what about if we have in economy ticket with our whole entire family 3 rows can we also lie flat on our seats as till the next person thats not in our family is 6 feet away and the back of our seat blocks them from behind/front??????

Yoel F

I flew recently on Emirates and Fly Dubai. Masking was not enforced at all.
Lufthansa was pretty crazy, with requiring the use of medical face masks (the blue 3 ply), not allowing cloth masks.


only the rich die young.

Shmekel- with-paranoia.

I just switched all my company bookings to Cathay Pacific thanks to this policy, I don’t want my employees to worry about masks while flying in business class.


Good to know that I should avoid flying them any time soon!


Don’t be a baby.


I’ll be glad if you do


All Cathay destinations are blocked for US citizens anyways


I flew from JFK to Dubai via Emirates, Business and first class without wearing the mask.