Lufthansa to require masks for flyers, but ease in-flight social distancing
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Lufthansa Group airlines will require passengers to wear face masks aboard all their flights starting Monday. The move makes it one of the first big European carriers to do so, but the group also said it would ease its in-flight social distancing protocols as a result.
Carriers in the group include Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian, Brussels and low-cost Eurowings. Of course, most airlines are operating significantly reduced networks these days, and Austrian and Brussels have completely suspended service through at least the end of May. The new rules regarding masks will apply to any flights on those airlines that are still operating and will remain in effect at least until Aug. 31, according to the company.
Lufthansa recommends that travelers wear reusable cloth masks, but said that scarves, disposable masks and other face coverings would be acceptable alternatives.
However, with the introduction of masks, Lufthansa said it would pull back on its efforts to social distance in flight by blocking middle seats.
In a press release, the company said that “as a result of this new regulation, the middle seat that has thus far been left vacant in Economy and Premium Economy Class, will no longer remain a necessity, as the facial covering provides the necessary protection. Yet, currently, due to a decrease in flight demand, seats will be allocated as far apart as possible throughout the cabin.”
The effort to enforce social distancing on planes — or whether doing so is practical in confined airplane cabins — has become something of a contentious issue for airlines to grapple with amid the pandemic.
In North America, some airlines are blocking seats more stringently than others, though those policies have not prevented photos showing scenes of full planes from gaining attention on social media.
Several U.S. airlines have announced their own mask policies in recent days. JetBlue will require passengers to wear masks on all flights, and a number of airlines including United and American have similar rules in place for crews, but no specific policies for passengers so far.
Meanwhile, Delta and other carriers have implemented their own social distancing and public health measures, including modifying boarding procedures, expanding cleaning regimens and artificially reducing capacity on some flights.
Featured photo by Boris Roessler/picture alliance via Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
- Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees