The Biden administration will no longer enforce a US mask mandate on public transportation, after a federal judge in Florida ruled that the directive was unlawful, overturning a key White House effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Airlines welcomed the move on Monday by saying they would no longer require masks:
ALASKA AIRLINES (ALK.N)
“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.”
“While we are glad this means many of us get to see your smiling faces, we understand some might have mixed feelings. Please remember to be kind to one another and that wearing a mask while traveling is still an option.”
AMERICAN AIRLINES (AAL.O)
“Face masks will no longer be required for our customers and team members at US airports and on domestic flights.
“Please note face masks may still be required based on local ordinances, or when traveling to/from certain international locations based on country requirements.”
DELTA AIR LINES (DAL.N)
“Effective immediately, masks are optional for all airport employees, crew members and customers inside US airports and onboard aircraft.”
“We are relieved to see the US mask mandate lift to facilitate global travel as COVID-19 has transitioned to an ordinary seasonal virus. Thank you for your support in complying with the federal mask mandate and keeping each other, and our customers, safe during the pandemic.”
UNITED AIRLINES (UAL.O)
“Effective immediately, masks are no longer required at United on domestic flights, select international flights (dependent upon the arrival country’s mask requirements) or at US airports.
“While this means that our employees are no longer required to wear a mask – and no longer have to enforce a mask requirement for most of the flying public – they will be able to wear masks if they choose to do so, as the CDC continues to strongly recommend wearing a mask on public transit.”
“Mask wearing will now be optional on JetBlue. While no longer required, customers and crewmembers are welcome to continue wearing masks in our terminals and on board our aircraft.”
SOUTHWEST AIRLINES (LUV.N)
“Southwest employees and customers will be able to choose whether they would like to wear a mask, and we encourage individuals to make the best decision to support their personal wellbeing.”
AIRLINES FOR AMERICA (INDUSTRY TRADE GROUP)
“The high level of immunity and widespread vaccine accessibility in the US coupled with the hospital-grade cabin air on aircraft provide a strong, science-based foundation for passengers to travel with confidence as restrictions are lifted on our nation’s airlines.”
“We look forward to welcoming millions of travelers back to the skies this summer to reunite with loved ones, attend conferences or to take a vacation.”