US Airlines Will Start Enforcing Mask Requirements, Including Suspension Of Flight Privileges; Will New Rules Make You More Or Less Likely To Fly?

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Airlines for America announced on behalf of Alaska, American, Delta, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Southwest, and United, that they will start enforcing mask requirements at all times in-flight, except when eating or drinking.

Airlines will make pre-flight and onboard announcements about mask requirements and will set policies for passengers that refuse to comply, up to the loss of future flight privileges.

United says that they will start strict enforcement starting on June 18th. Passengers that refuse to comply after being told to wear a mask “will lose their travel privileges on United for a duration of time to be determined pending a comprehensive incident review.”

“United currently requires all passengers to wear a face covering onboard its flights and expects that policy to remain in place for at least the next 60 days. The only exceptions to this policy are individuals who have a medical condition or a disability that prevents them from wearing a face covering, those who cannot put on or remove a face covering themselves and small children. Customers are expected to wear a mask for the duration of the flight, except when eating or drinking.”

United quotes Dr. James Merlino, Chief Clinical Transformation Officer at Cleveland Clinic as saying “Wearing a mask is a critical part of helping make air travel safer. The more people in a given space wearing masks, the fewer viral particles are making it into the space around them, decreasing exposure and risk.”

United flight attendants won’t determine the punishment, they will just file a report on non-compliant passengers. Final decisions will take place after the flight after an investigation.

Will New Mask Enforcement Policies Make You More Or Less Likely To Return To The Skies?

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57 Comments On "US Airlines Will Start Enforcing Mask Requirements, Including Suspension Of Flight Privileges; Will New Rules Make You More Or Less Likely To Fly?"

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Glushtygiz

I guess I’ll be “eating” the whole flight

nd

LOL guy sat down on the plane with a mask hanging on 1 ear and ate popcorn the whole flight.

Mm

+1

moe

My Chavruso does that. We learn in a Beis Medrash where mask rule is in place so he takes a tea in the beginning of seder until the end…

Chani

That’s what I did. Flew to England. They didn’t say anything when it wasn’t on. Row in front was empty and we took up our row.. so there was no one nearby anyway.

Zvi

It’s so pathetic, you can riot, loot and murder and it’s ok not to social distance or wear a mask

Menashe

or send your kids to camp

Mook

Or shoot or hang innocent black people

Truth

Don’t lie like the media.

ckmk47

The risk of transmission indoors a much greater than the risk outdoors. So shuls are dangerous places and have to set smart policies.
(Not condoning unequal enforcement.)

Uri

Personally, my issue is not with the flight, it’s actually fairly safe to fly, especially with mask enforcement (as long as you sanitize your tray, which you should have been doing way before COVID). My issue is with everything around it: getting to the airport, being at the airport, leaving the airport, and how safe is my destination.

jack

+1

Chani

the airports are empty. Flew Newark to Heathrow, both empty and that was before the mandatory quarantine in England.

AH

The virus isn’t catchy during eating or drinking I guess
This whole mask requirement when sitting so close to each other and touching all the same surfaces is nonsense

DoB

It’s impossible to eat or drink while wearing a mask. Instead of requiring passengers to fast for the entire duration of the flight, the airlines are allowing passengers to briefly remove their masks as necessary to eat and drink. If you’re complaining about having to wear a mask most of the time, I can only imagine what you’d say if the airlines required you to fast.

The virus is shared primarily through the air (surfaces are a minor player in the game). That so many people are sitting in close proximity, breathing the same air, is exactly why masks are so important.

Moe

If any passenger claims a medical exemption or disability preventing wearing a mask, the airline is legally prohibited from requiring the passenger to provide medical documentation of the disability or condition, and must accept the claim without punishment.

ari

any document on this

YoniPDX

I imagine that Airlines are not considered covered entities under HIPAA. It’s a privacy issue – which isn’t required to be disclosed. INAL and obviously YMMV depending on gate agent/ FA / and attempts at Flight shaming for flying while unmasked ( which may get you an iundisclosed nternal ban).

I imagine that they could be sued under ADA as well -. a simple thing such as anxiety from wearing a mask.

Have a sister-in-law that is a RN that is unable to work with a N95 mask – I get personally get lightheaded when wearing a mask – it’s an O2 saturation issue.

Chris

Neither HIPAA nor the ADA apply to airlines. YANAL, but I am 🙂 (The Air Carrier Access Act is probably what you are thinking of.)

Freecountry

Could you imagine flying 10 hours with that mask/suffocation device on a plane which is already nasty air and stuffy.

moe

get a comfortable one

Chani

like which?

Chris

I have masks from Grayers and from SpaceMask, both are really comfortable and breathable.

Pamela

I got 25k miles as an apology last week when they annoyed me about wearing a mask… told them no, I have a disability. They bugged me a little more, but then gave up. Got off the flight and called united amd asked if thehbwere going to continue to harass me for my disability… they apologized amd gave me 25k miles. Guess ADA lawsuits a lot more expensive tham 25k miles. A guy I work with has done the same thing 3 times in the last couple weeks since they started the mask nonsense… he’s gotten quite a bit of “compensation” so far.

FWW

Really??? Someone would claim a disability to get out of a guideline that could potentially keep him and the others around him safe. I guess he doesn’t know anyone directly affected by this terrible virus. If you must fly now then do so with the consideration of those 100+ others on the plane with you. Otherwise stay home!! Do you think the healthcare workers are comfortable wearing masks and all kinds of other Protective equipment?? This really amazes me!

Yitz

What disability prevents you from wearing a mask? Unless you mean decency deficiency???

EJB

Asthma could

Seth

Great, giving all of us a bad name, congratulations!

Chris

I have a friend who is actually blind with an actual seeing eye dog (not an “emotional support animal.” You people with your made up disabilities make life harder for those who actually have disabilities.

Ed Travel

It’s no problem at all. It also depends on which mask do you use. If you are using a true N95 mask is hard to breathe and they also make you hot. In fact that’s how you know if you have a real one it’s hard to breathe. You can use one of those surgical ones it is minimum protection but meet the requirement.

*Disclaimer: I distribute 3M masks.

yuneeq

If you wear a half face mask like the 3M 6200 it’s actually a lot easier to breathe than any other mask, and with P100 filters it’s even safer than an N95. But then again, you’re walking around like an idiot wearing a half face mask.

Steve

Ed – anyway to get some 3m masks for flying

YYZOGG

I doubt United is enforcing this for good business practices. It’s the FA Unions protecting employees. I hope the rule applies to employees who are exposed to more germs then all of the travelers.

LK

Yes its not just about YOU the flyer, its about employees who work on the planes. Imagine that, thinking about other people….

Shmuel Schuster

I won’t fly until the mask rules go away.

Bruce

Unless you have a real N 95 mask, the silly face coverings does not protect you. It does offer some reduction in infectious rate to others if you have the virus. You can count on many people on the plane wearing their mask improperly and you will see many a nose. Flying is a crap shoot. Its a simple matter of whether you have a sick person in your area. Or whether you are exposed somewhere in the process of getting on or off the plane. So stay off the plane. If you go anyway, self isolate for 2 weeks. At the very least stay away from vulnerable people who you might infect. In general, vulnerable people are over the age of 60, perhaps the age of your parents or grandparents.

JamesIV

Passengers and flight attendants “reporting” on people not wearing masks or following social distance guidelines is entering very sketchy territory.

R T

I just flew to Orlando on Frontier and back to New Jersey on spirit. Frontier was super strict with the mask rule watching the passengers the the whole flight to make sure they kept their masks on. But they also didn’t let you change your seat to a seat with more distance between you and other people unless you paid for an upgrade. Spirit did tell everyone they had to wear a mask but didn’t drive us nuts about it.

Joetraveller

Any statistics out there on flight attendants and coronavirus infection rates? I presume it’s not a whole lot higher than the general population.

Too Many

I suspect it will be hard to compare simply because most FA’s were furloughed when majority of flights were canceled. The level of exposure vs the number of FA’s would not be a fair representation as they just weren’t really flying as much.

Not sure if there is any way to normalize the calculation to better reflect the dynamics/variables to make it an apples to apples comparison rate… Medical workers are constantly exposed to COVID-19 patients, which makes it impractical to compare; and grocery store workers or people working in the public domain do not typically work in close quarters and for prolonged period of time exposed to the same people.

Too Many

Are masks such an inconvenience to people that they’d rather run the risk of infecting themselves or others? What happened to looking out for the well being of others and yourself? As a society, it requires a concerted effort to overcome the spread of the coronavirus. Sitting in a confined space in close proximity to a possibly asymptomatic yet virus shedding person should make anyone consider a mask a requirement, yet people insist they don’t need to comply because it bothers them. Individual rights trumps societal well-being. It looks like Americans will just keep infecting the general population (and increase the number of deaths) until the vaccine comes around.

DoB

This. Thank you.

Keith

My thoughts exactly. If you dont want to wear a mask, don’t fly. Simple as that. Well said.

Dave

Or you can look at it as, if you aren’t ready to expose yourself to the public, stay home.

Too Many

And the virus will continue to circulate amongst the population… Because as long as it has hosts willing to continue it’s spread, it will stay. This is the fallacy of the logic: “I am not an at risk person, and I am not willing to minimize my travel as a result because it doesn’t apply to me”. That large portion of the population will basically guarantee the coronavirus will have ample ability to continue to infect people, healthy or otherwise, until the vaccine is able to curb it’s spread.

The unfortunate reality is American society values the individual rights more than the collective good, even to the point of resisting wearing a mask to cut down on transmission rates. Look at Rep. Tom Rice who was COVID-19 positive (his entire family was). And even when he was positive, he did not wear a mask because he felt he was safe being 6 feet away from people.

They have made wearing masks (a way to cut down on the transmission of the virus) into a political point of contention. Yet, the virus doesn’t care about politics. All the virus cares about is how many more ways it can get itself to be spread; and it doesn’t care if a person is healthy or not, or whether the person fits a profile. It will just continue to spread person to person as long as people will allow it.

Dave

The proof is in the pudding. We have local and state governments lifting restrictions, medical communities giving the ‘green light’— but for many, that isn’t good enough. Those folks not only remain hiding under their covers for 3+ months, but knock and critique those that are following regulations and opening up, partaking in society, attending minyan, and supporting business. It’s not about ‘not caring’ or ‘being uncomfortable’, but we have gotten to the point where we have to leave those behind, and continue our lives (ruchnious and gashmious)— as many governments, Rabbinical boards, medical communities, and departments of commerce support such the idea.

Too Many

Please indicate how this relates to people wearing masks on the plane, which is a closed, confined space with less than 6 feet in front, behind, and to the side of you. You seem to be going off on a tangent regarding opening the economy; the point here is that if you are opening the economy, at least do the basic requirement needed to minimize the potential spread of the virus. Especially to the specific issue of traveling via planes.

But to your point, the reopening of the economy is driven by political and economic pressures. Every state official has been cautioning about reopening the economy due to fears that people will not properly conduct themselves (which, by the spike in positive cases in many states, appears to be true). These spikes are not attributable to additional availability of tests, but because the virus infection rate is coming back up.

4yourinfo

Social distancing was for one reason – slow the spread – did you forget? The gov’t has to change the guidelines – if you have antibodies no more masks – antibodies work look at NJ, NY enough with this panic. If the Gov’t wants people to adhere to their rules – get updated realistic rules

Too Many

Slowing the spread did seem to flatten the curve; outside of NYC, it appears similar populous cities did not get the same rate of deaths as that area. So that seems to have worked as advertised. As for masks, isn’t that just another arsenal in the fight against COVID-19?

Does updated realistic rules include wearing a mask whenever you are in public and you are going to be less than 6 feet away from the nearest person?

For those who already have antibodies after recovering from COVID-19, is there a way to identify those people from those that have not? Otherwise people who just don’t want to wear masks can say they already had COVID-19 and disregard everyone else’s health.

Realistic rules are needed; and they need to be ground in science. Some of those rules may infringe on people’s concept of their rights (like their right not to wear a mask). But at that point, society has rules about wearing clothes in public, and no one appears to be rebelling against that.

L

The virus doesn’t spread when you eat? Everyone can eat the whole trip? What happened to all the viruses before that people could pick up on a plane?

Eli

It also doesn’t spread in Walmart and target. It also doesn’t spread during protests. It’s an extremely woke virus.

Traderca

I flew yesterday LAX-EWR on United. I wore a mask till I got in my seat then took it off. I only put it on when I went to the bathroom and when I left the plane. The FA didn’t say a word.

Dave

Good news

Yehudis

Flew TLV-JFK, maybe 6 people in comfort. Wore mask first few minutes. Took it off, no one bothered me. Slept across entire row.

Tom

Personally, I don’t care whether I spread the virus to other passengers. If they don’t want the virus they should stay at home. It’s just not my problem. This is America! No one is going to force me to wear a mask, ever.

LK

why not bring your ’emotional support cobra’ with you too.
The selfishness in some of these comments is truly astonishing

traderde

Wish there was a rule that says people unwilling to wear a mask will default to a DNR if they get infected and admitted to a hospital. There needs to be a direct consequence for one’s actions. It’s not simply the cost of those around you, but the limited resources of HCW’s that have been working to the brink of their existence. There is a clear and distinct difference between getting infected randomly versus not taking taking simple actions that would limit the spread.

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