Airlines Define New Flying Etiquette, Will Now Provide Or Require Face Masks

American Airlines Group Inc. AAL will provide facemasks to passengers, while other carriers set their own policies for fliers. 

What Happened 

Airlines are setting rules for the flying public regarding face covering and sanitization.

American Airlines will hand out facemasks and hand sanitizers to their passengers onboard, while JetBlue Airways Corporation JBLU will make it mandatory for passengers and flight attendants to wear face coverings, according to CNBC.

President of JetBlue Joanna Geraghty said, “Wearing a face covering isn’t about protecting yourself, it’s about protecting those around you.”

American, United Airlines Holdings Inc. UAL  and Delta Air Lines, Inc. DAL have already mandated their employees to wear face coverings. The two airlines will now provide masks to passengers. 

Responding to the announcement of JetBlue regarding masks, the Association of Flight Attendants - CWA (AFA) said, “Good job, [JetBlue] for being the first U.S. airline to take this responsible step, which CDC advises will help slow the spread of the virus. Most U.S. airlines are now requiring Flight Attendants to wear a mask while working, but we need passengers to wear masks in order to best protect everyone onboard, including crew.”

Why It Matters

Air travel has declined by as much as 95% due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home orders. Airlines are thus taking measures to prevent the disease from spreading on planes, reported CNBC.

The AFA has asked federal authorities to mandate that both travelers and crew wear masks to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The union has also demanded personal protective equipment be provided by the airlines to their employees.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidelines for everyone on the use of cloth face covers in public settings, where social distancing is difficult.

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