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What airlines are saying about the end of the federal mask mandate

April 19 2022
4 min read
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After two years of masking up for flights, on Monday a federal judge in Florida voided the federal government's transportation mask mandate.

Within hours, the Biden administration announced it would stop enforcing the mandate. Shortly thereafter, airlines swiftly dropped their policies. Some airlines loudly celebrated the news and quickly had special content on their social media accounts to mark the occasion, while others issued more muted statements.

Here's what the airlines are saying about the end of the federal mask mandate.

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Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines was among the first airlines to celebrate the end of the mandate.

"Face masks have been like boarding passes for nearly two years — you couldn’t fly without one. But, as of today, masks are optional in airports and onboard aircraft, effective immediately," the airline's statement read. "Safety is always our highest priority, so while we love to see your smiling faces in the airport and on board, we respect your decision to keep using this added layer of protection."

Allegiant Air

"Consistent with yesterday’s federal court ruling and updated TSA guidance, Allegiant will no longer enforce the federal mask mandate," the airline's statement read. "Should the guidance change, we will adjust our policy accordingly. Passengers and employees still have the option to wear masks in airports and on aircraft if they so choose."

American Airlines

American Airlines had a more basic statement while promising more details.

"In accordance with the Transportation Security Administration no longer enforcing the federal face mask mandate, face masks will no longer be required for our customers and team members at U.S. airports and on domestic flights," American's statement read. "We are deeply grateful to our team members for their enforcement of the mandate, and will share more information about this transition in the coming days."

Avelo Airlines

Breeze Airways

"Face masks are no longer required on Breeze flights for both Guests and Team Members," Breeze wrote on its COVID-19 website. "Please be kind and respectful of individual choices, and remember that wearing a mask while flying on Breeze is still an option if you choose to do so."

Delta Air Lines

Delta used its statement to celebrate the end of the mandate.

"We are relieved to see the U.S. mask mandate lift to facilitate global travel as COVID-19 transitions to a more manageable respiratory virus – with better treatments, vaccines and other scientific measures to prevent serious illness," the statement read. "Thank you for your support in complying with the federal mask mandate and keeping each other safe during the pandemic."

That statement had originally called COVID-19 an "ordinary seasonal virus," echoing language the airline's CEO, Ed Bastian, had previously used. It was revised after The White House took issue with the language.

Frontier Airlines

Frontier leaned into the assortment of animals that grace the tails of its fleet to make its rather cheeky announcement.

Hawaiian Airlines

"Effective immediately, face masks are optional for our guests and employees onboard Hawaiian Airlines flights," the airline said.

JetBlue

"In line with Monday’s federal court ruling and the Transportation Security Administration’s guidance, mask wearing will now be optional on JetBlue," the airline said. "While no longer required, customers and crewmembers are welcome to continue wearing masks in our terminals and on board our aircraft."

Southwest Airlines

"Effective immediately, Southwest Employees and Customers will be able to choose whether they would like to wear a mask on flights, at domestic ​airports, and at some international locations," the airline's statement read. "We encourage individuals to make the best decision to support their personal wellbeing."

Spirit Airlines

"Face coverings are now optional for Spirit Team Members & Guests onboard our flights following the federal court ruling and TSA guidance," the airline said.

Sun Country Airlines

Sun Country's statement started with a word of thanks.

United Airlines

United was among the airlines to celebrate the end of the mandate — and featured two photos of the famous dinosaur skeleton at its Chicago O'Hare (ORD) hub both with and without a (large) face mask.

Featured photo by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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