United States airline companies mandate face masks, consisting of American, Delta, United, Southwest

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Airlines are taking a range of preventative measures as the coronavirus pandemic continues.


JetBlue

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You’re not simply envisioning that the sky overhead is quieter. Empty airports, parked airplane and dramatically minimized flight schedules reveal simply how seriously the coronavirus pandemic has actually impacted flight in the United States. Passenger numbers from the Transportation Security Administration are even more evidence. On April 28, the TSA evaluated simply 110,913 individuals, a 95% reduction from the exact same day in 2015.

But as planes continue to fly throughout the nation, airline companies are altering the travel experience for the less individuals aboard. JetBlue recently was the very first to reveal necessary mask usage for both team and travelers, with nearly all of the significant providers quickly following its lead. Some airline companies are even offering them. And remember that some airports, like San Francisco, need masks in the terminals. 


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All the airlines I contacted say they’ve instituted deeper aircraft cleaning procedures between flights, such as wiping tray tables and overhead bin handles and “fogging” cabins with disinfectant. They’re also limiting upgrade options and are blocking some seats to keep passengers apart. Food and drink onboard, if you get it at all, is likely to be served in single-use containers, with bottled water largely the beverage of choice. Inflight magazines should be gone, too, and that hot-towel service? Don’t even ask for it. 

Other precautions start at the airport, where frontline employees are wearing masks and some check-in kiosks are gone to give people more space. You’re likely to scan your own boarding pass at the gate. And to further encourage social distancing, most airlines are boarding passengers in smaller groups, starting with those seated in the back. (Sorry, first-class flyers.)

Alaska

  • Employees who can’t maintain a six-foot social distance from others need to wear masks.
  • Passengers must wear masks beginning May 11.
  • Middle seats are blocked on aircraft that have them. For aircraft without middle seats, aisles seats will be blocked.
  • Onboard food and drink service will be limited and all airport lounges are closed, except one at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Allegiant

American 

Delta

Frontier

  • A spokeswoman said all employees regardless of role are required to wear masks.
  • Masks for passengers will be required at check-in, gate areas and during the flight beginning May 8. 
  • Every other row of seats will be blocked on all flights.

JetBlue

  • Cabin crew members are required to wear masks.
  • Passengers also are required to wear face masks, beginning at check-in. A spokesman said that a small number of masks will be available for passengers who don’t bring their own.
  • The number of available seats on all flights will be limited.
  • There’ll be fewer food and beverage options.

Hawaiian

  • A mask requirement for passengers will begin May 8. 
  • Disposable sanitizing wipes are available on board transpacific and intra-Hawaii flights.
  • Some airport lounges are closed.
  • A spokesman says the airline “will soon launch updated seat maps with seat blocks specifically designed to maintain social distancing onboard.”

Southwest

  • All in-flight snack and drink service is currently suspended.
  • Flight attendants are required to wear masks. 
  • A mask mandate for passengers will begin May 11. Masks will be available for people that don’t bring them.
  • The airline will limit the number of passengers onboard each flight so that middle seats can remain unoccupied. (Remember that Southwest has an open seating policy.) People traveling together will be permitted to sit together. 

Spirit

Sun Country

  • Customer-facing employees are required to wear masks. Passengers are “encouraged” to wear masks.
  • The alines says that “middle seats will only be filled when necessary to accommodate all booked passengers. Families who want to sit together can request middle seat assignments at the check-in counter or at the gate.”
  • The airline has halted all inflight service.

United

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