Many airlines in the United States and Europe have dropped the mask mandate, signaling a bounce back from the pandemic era. In this post, we share the list of airlines that have lifted their mask mandates.
Major US airlines have dropped the mask mandate and stated that masks are no longer required at US airports and on domestic and select international flights. Wearing a mask has become more of a personal choice.
After the mask mandate was dropped in the US, airlines quickly responded, advising their passengers to make the best decision themselves. American Airlines issued a statement stating that face masks will no longer be required on domestic flights or at US airports.
However, it clearly mentioned that wearing “face masks may still be required based on local ordinances, or when travelling to/from certain international locations based on country requirements.”
Delta also updated its mask mandate the same day, stating, “masks are optional for all airport employees, crew members, and customers inside US airports and onboard all aircraft domestically and on most international flights.”
United Airlines also issued a statement clearly stating “the choice is yours.”
Up to 2,000 Delta and 1,000 United passengers who were banned for COVID-19 mask-wearing violations will be permitted to fly with the airlines again.
The carriers said Wednesday that these passengers would be removed from their respective no-fly lists on a case-by-case basis.
Alaska Airlines also made wearing a mask optional at airports and onboard aircraft. However, Alaska Airlines also said that the unruly passengers who have been put on “no-fly” lists would remain banned.
“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.”Alaska Airlines
Southwest announced that masks are optional for its employees and passengers in a press release, stating, “certain cities, states, and countries may still require masks. We encourage individuals to make the best decision to support their personal well-being and to check local airport mask policies when travelling.”
JetBlue also issued a similar press release saying masks are no longer required onboard its flights.
- Frontier Airlines
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Spirit Airlines
- Avelo Airlines
- Sun Country Airlines
- Breeze Airways
These airlines clearly mentioned that some of the origin or arrival airports may still require masks, with Spirit Airlines stating, “for our guests traveling internationally, please remember to check country-specific airport requirements before traveling.”
Some airlines say they are offering options — including refunds in some cases — for people worried about flying now that other passengers aren’t required to wear face masks.
United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby said his airline will be flexible with people who have a weak immune system or are concerned about mask-optional flying for any other reason.
“We are working with those customers … to find another option, give them a credit, or if they just don’t ever want to fly again, (we are) actually willing to give them a refund,” Kirby said.
After the United Kingdom decided to drop all travel restrictions, including the mask mandate, British Airways also welcomed the decision to lift mask mandates, saying they will also revise their face covering policies. British Airways removed the mask mandate on March 16th.
British Airways further clarified, saying, “If you are travelling on our flights, you will be required to wear a mask on board if the destination you are flying to requires it.”
Virgin Atlantic also made face masks optional on select destinations. It stated that wearing a mask will be a personal choice for its customers and people travelling in either direction.
Currently, passengers on flights to or from the USA, Pakistan, Barbados, St Lucia, Antigua, Grenada, The Bahamas, Jamaica, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago are no longer required to wear a face mask. However, those aged 12 and above travelling to or from Delhi, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Lagos, Mumbai, Shanghai and Tel Aviv will need to wear a face mask.
EasyJet has also relaxed the mask policy on some of its flights. Currently, EasyJet’s flights between England, Northern Ireland, Jersey, Isle of Man, Denmark, Finland, Czech Republic, Croatia, Bulgaria, Scotland, Slovenia, Sweden, Gibraltar, Switzerland, and Hungary, Iceland and Poland do not require passengers to wear a mask.
However, a large number of its routes still require wearing an FFP2 or surgical masks for those aged six and above when they fly.
On March 1st, Jet2 became the first airline in the UK to drop mask requirements on most of its flights. However, Jet2 recommends its passengers to continue wearing a face mask during a flight, also stating that “you might need to wear one when you get to your overseas destination.”
Finnair became the latest airline to scrap mask requirements on its flights to and from destinations that no longer require it. Finnair dropped the face mask mandate on April 25th.
“On flights where using a mask is an authority requirement, you are required to wear a mask throughout the flight. You can remove your mask for a short, limited time when eating or drinking. On all other Finnair flights, masks are voluntary for both crew and customers.”Finnair
On March 11th, TUI revised its mask policy for passengers travelling between England and Northern Ireland. However, TUI continued to recommend its passengers and employees wear a face mask. Last week on April 20th, TUI updated its policy to include flights to and from Scotland.
“Face masks will no longer be a legal requirement on Tui Airways flights to/from England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, however in line with UK government and EU Charter guidance, we strongly recommend that you still wear a mask throughout your flight.”TUI Statement
Similarly, a handful of other airlines have also eased their mask policy. The following global airlines have also scrapped mandatory mask requirements.
- Norwegian Air Shuttle
- Croatia Airlines
Besides these airlines, the list of airlines scrapping mask requirements seems to be increasing in days ahead.
Do you know any other airline that has dropped the mask mandate? Share with us in the comment.