Update, 8/5: Effective on 8/10, JetBlue will eliminate medical exemptions for wearing airline masks and require everyone 2 and older to wear a mask.
That leaves Delta and Hawaiian as the only US airlines that will allow young children and medically exempt passengers onboard without a mask.
Here’s how that mashes up with the airlines that are offering empty middle seats on their planes:
Update, 7/23: United has removed their medical exemption policy as well. The only mask exception on American, Southwest, and United will be for infants under 24 months.
Delta still allows medical exemptions, but requires those seeking it to show up early at the airport to allow time for a consultation with a healthcare professional who will decide if an exemption is warranted. Delta says that is has places more than 100 passengers on a no-fly list due to not wearing a mask.
For now, Delta still exempts young children from needing to wear a mask.
Update, 7/23: Both American and Southwest have announced that they are eliminating medical exemptions for wearing airline masks. Even if you have a bona fide exemption to not wear a mask, you will not be allowed to fly on American or Southwest. The only remaining exception on those airlines will be for infants under 24 months.
Update, 7/23: Southwest announced that effective 7/27, they too will require everyone 2 and older to wear a mask at the airport and onboard.
Update, 7/22: American has announced that effective 7/29, they too will require everyone 2 and older to wear a mask at the airport and onboard, or else customers will be banned from flying American until the mask requirements are lifted.
United announced today that they will require face masks to be worn throughout the airport starting on 7/24. Previously they were only required on the plane.
Passengers that don’t comply anywhere in the airport will be banned from flying on United until the mask requirements are lifted.
United will also require that all children 2 and older wear masks in the airport and on the plane starting on 7/24. Previously young children were exempt.
Now I’m not sure if the people making these decisions actually have young kids, but most 2 and 3 year olds don’t actually care about logic or what adults say they need to keep on their face.
Good luck enforcing that one, United! Are you going to throw my family off a flight because my 2 year old daughter won’t keep a mask on her face?
In the meantime, American and United will happily sell every seat on a flight. If you want an empty middle seat, stick with Delta, JetBlue, or Southwest.