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American: Don’t Fly With Us Unless You Can Wear a Face Mask

American: Don’t Fly With Us Unless You Can Wear a Face Mask
Joe Cortez

American Airlines is making a clear stand on the COVID-19 face covering debate. On the same day they announced their quarterly numbers, the airline made it clear that flyers must wear a face mask before, during, and after their flight, or face a flight privilege ban.

American Airlines is strengthening their position on flying with face coverings: Wear it, or fly with another airline. In a press release, the carrier announced the new policy to prevent the spread of COVID-19 will be effective on July 29, 2020.

New Policy Requires Face Coverings, Banning Customers Who Refuse to Wear One

Under the enhanced face covering policy, all American flyers will be required to wear a face covering from the moment they enter their departure airport, to the moment they leave their arrival airport. This includes all airport common spaces, including American’s Admiral’s Lounge.

“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention one of the best ways we can slow the spread of COVID-19 is to wear a face covering,” Alison Taylor, chief customer officer of American, said in the press release. “Customers and team members have been clear that they feel more safe when everyone is wearing a face covering. In light of this important feedback, we are expanding and enhancing our requirements onboard and at airports.”

The only exceptions to the face mask policy are when flyers are eating or drinking, or if flyers who are two years old or under. American warns that those who do not comply with the new requirement face being “barred from future travel for the duration of this face covering requirement.”

American’s move comes after Delta Air Lines provided a specific policy for those who claim they cannot wear a face mask for medical reasons. Those aboard the Atlanta-based carrier saying they have a condition must arrive at the airport at least one hour before boarding for a health screening prior to boarding.

Policy Announced After American’s Second Quarter 2020 Financial Report

The new policy was announced hours after American’s second quarter financial results were released, headlined by the airline’s “strategic action…to prioritize safety, flexibility and efficiency in response to COVID-19.” Despite the square focus on improving safety, the airline experienced a pre-tax loss of $4.3 billion – the biggest loss among all four major domestic carriers.

“This was one of the most challenging quarters in American’s history,” American chairman and CEO Doug Parker said in a press release. “COVID-19 and the resulting shutdown of the U.S. economy have caused severe disruptions to global demand for air travel.”

View Comments (30)


  1. born sleepy

    July 23, 2020 at 3:01 pm

    About time these idiots had some consequences for being selfish a-holes.

  2. jamesteroh

    July 23, 2020 at 7:34 pm

    Wish all the stores would require it as well. If someone can’t wear a mask they can wear a faceshield.

  3. c502cid

    July 23, 2020 at 7:51 pm

    born sleepy… bahhhhhh

  4. craig44485

    July 23, 2020 at 8:10 pm

    So drink that PDB slow, and take your time eating that bag of peanuts and drinking your Coke, this virus is deadly, except when you eating or drinking, or you’re under 2 years old, then it gives you a pass.

  5. vargha

    July 24, 2020 at 4:07 am

    Gotta make sure people “feel safe” despite the science.

  6. jrpallante

    July 24, 2020 at 4:11 am

    @Born Sleepy Don’t hold back. Tell us how you really feel! (P.S., couldn’t agree more!)

  7. Zebraitis

    July 24, 2020 at 4:44 am

    I’m flying 7 segments in the next three days. Masks, hand sanitizer, gloves, and Clorox wipes are now part of the plan. This is so I can make sure that f I should GET C-19, that then I don’t also infect YOU.

  8. flyerCO

    July 24, 2020 at 6:03 am

    While I agree most were using as a loophole, there were actual persons with conditions. Even the CDC guidance they reference states this is the case. I forsee a DOT enforcement action for violating the ACAA. I get and agree with AA taking action against fakers. However the ACAA is law and is there exactly for situations like this.

  9. pony_trekker

    July 24, 2020 at 6:39 am

    Just after they announced their worst quarter and won the award for “top short.” Hmm, coincidence?

  10. DFW_Airwolf


    July 24, 2020 at 7:46 am

    OK, will make sure I purchase a White KKK Hood/Mask before flying on them anytime.

    And I due this as a 1st Amendment PROTECTED Protest against your policy and the overall mandate of having to wear a mask.

    Dont like or agree with me on my protest. We’ll I dont agree on being FORCED to wear one when even the FAA hasnt mandated it. AA is just cow towing down to the Liberal Left Lunacy.

  11. Iflymci

    July 24, 2020 at 8:52 am

    @DFW_Airwolf you sound like a gem of a person. So do you buckle your seatbelt on a plane? Or let alone, your car?

  12. nycityny

    July 24, 2020 at 9:09 am

    To those anti-maskers who say people who feel unsafe being among those without masks should just stay home: I say if you don’t like wearing a mask, don’t fly. Flying is a privilege, not a necessity.

    Also, try showing up at the airport without a shirt and see if they will let you fly. I doubt they will even let you pass through TSA security. If you can be forced to wear shirts for aesthetic reasons you can wear a mask for viral reasons.

  13. psychopharmacist

    July 24, 2020 at 10:39 am

    Indeed you have a First Amendment right to wear the hood/mask that could easily cause a brawl and without a doubt would cause others discomfort.
    But remember this- you do NOT have a right to fly on any airline- it’s a privilege.
    As a consequence of your actual threat in this post, and a potential threat at the airport and on the plane, you will pretty much guarantee that you will not be able to fly…anywhere…on any common carrier.
    Why would you think that this is some left-wing conspiracy when you are wanting to not wear a mask and purposely potentially cause others to be ill who don’t care about your political bent, like the crew, the employees of the carriers, the other passengers, and the families of all those just mentioned?
    Wow. Please wear the hood. I know I won’t run into you again for quite a while.

  14. Litespeed97

    July 24, 2020 at 10:40 am

    Well don’t fly with Southwest then. As of July 27, they announced that if you’re not wearing a face mask you will not be flying with them at all. This includes medical exemptions.

  15. ForSpud

    July 24, 2020 at 10:42 am

    Is it also a 1st Amendment protected protest to NOT wear shoes or a shirt? Aren’t you being FORCED to wear those on AA?

  16. azmojo

    July 24, 2020 at 10:47 am

    Can they change terms and conditions of tickets I purchased months ago like that?
    It would appear that a legal argument can be made that if you have a medical condition that prevents you from wearing a mask, this policy discriminates against you and thus is in violation of the ADA and could lead to significant fines for the airlines.

    And of course all of the mask wearing negated the second you pull down your mask to eat or drink something…

  17. melmike

    July 24, 2020 at 2:12 pm

    The absurd politicising of this virus and of wearing masks is uniquely American. Many of us wear one in the supermarket / on public transport etc in Sydney Australia and we have 81 cases in the entire State! So go grab your freedom and COVID at the same time!

  18. afCAMEO


    July 24, 2020 at 6:06 pm

    Sure, Texas has no Covid that might infect you at DFW

  19. cscasi

    July 24, 2020 at 6:29 pm

    I will shed a tear for you in my weeping vase. This is a pandemic. Do what is right for all of us who are flying – or don’t fly. Take the bus!

  20. PDog

    July 24, 2020 at 6:45 pm

    Under the Air Carrier Access Act, domestic and foreign passenger airlines are prohibited to discriminate against people with mental or physical disabilities. As a disabled person I hope, with all my heart, that American gets sued for everything they are worth.

    We’ve had a hard enough time during this shutdown as it is. I’m sick and tired of people who don’t know me telling me it’s safer for me to stay home since I’m “vulnerable”, that they are “protecting” me, or (I love this one) I should be willing to die for the greater good since I’m already sick anyway. None of you speak for me or other disabled people.

  21. GrayAnderson

    July 24, 2020 at 9:42 pm

    @DFW_Airwolf: I mean, I get that those were popular in the years after the 1918 pandemic, but… :-P

    Like others on here, I suspect that this is going to collapse under an ACAA action and the airline knows it. I strongly suspect that American has decided that the gambit of facing such an action and losing may be outweighed by trying *desperately* to get business back. After all, what’s a few million in enforcement fines if they think they can get load factors back closer to something sane.

  22. ezefllying

    July 25, 2020 at 12:51 am

    DFW, I see you’re taking this emotionally. Sadly for you, the fact that you’re required to wear a mask does not entitle you to wear a Klan hood, even if you’re having a tantrum, just like a requirement to wear a shirt doesn’t allow you wear one with racial epithets written all over it. I realize this hurts, but not even the First Amendment, which does not protect you from private businesses’ rules, allows you to “due” that.

    Though I think it’s funny that you’d apparently tolerate a “violation” of your First Amendment rights if a regulatory agency so mandated.

    Anyway, please feel better!

  23. MimiB22

    July 25, 2020 at 5:31 am

    My sis in law is a FA for American. She just got over a thankfully mild but very uncomfortable case of Covid 19. Of course, she had to isolate for weeks and been tested negative several times since and has now returned to work. She’s convinced un-masked passengers infected her because she was very very careful to stay healthy otherwise. So, you selfish anti-masking, anti-science dolts… either cooperate or don’t fly. We don’t want your germs infecting shared air space.

  24. enggeol

    July 25, 2020 at 7:18 am

    DFW Airwolf – so do you take the airbags and seat belts out of your car, disconnect the dual braking systems, lights etc. If not, why not as they are all imposed by government and if the 1st amendment is so precious you should.

  25. VaguelyAsian

    July 25, 2020 at 9:11 am

    I hope this means no screaming babies too!!

  26. zephyr17

    July 26, 2020 at 12:10 pm

    First Amendment applies only to government actions. You have no First Amendment rights against a private corporation. AA could and likely would ban you if you showed up in a KKK hood and be perfectly within their rights.

  27. sfoeuroflyer

    July 26, 2020 at 7:33 pm

    I guess science has no role to play here. The fabric masks do NOT block virus particles. At best they have limited effectiveness in blocking water droplets from sneezes, coughs and spitting….which doesn’t amount to much. And all the self righteous grandstanding by those claiming otherwise sound like like the toothless wretches screaming while they burned witches. Further everyone ignores the fact that there is no proof that the air on an airplane is dangerous. None.

  28. ajf87

    July 28, 2020 at 2:51 pm

    @ sfoeuroflyer

    For the millionth time, yes, we know they don’t block virus particles. They do however significantly reduce the release of aerosol droplets that contain virus particles. Masks work – the United States’ sudden and severe rise in cases is proof. Other countries that aren’t ruled by paranoid, anti-science idiots have gotten this under control. We’re nowhere near containment and we’re only a couple months away from the start of flu season.

  29. KenTarmac

    July 29, 2020 at 5:34 pm

    Good for AA. Flying is a privilege not a right. If you want to exercise your right not to wear a mask you can give up the privilege of flying.

  30. caljn

    August 2, 2020 at 2:51 pm

    The FAA hasn’t enforced mask wearing. You’re talking about the FAA of republican trump administration who want to “deconstruct the administrative state”. They do not believe in or practice good governance…as some bizarro world badge of honor. Government is only as good as those who run it.

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