0 min left

British Airways Reverses Course on Face Mask Requirements

London Heathrow, United Kingdom - August 28, 2015: A British Airways Boeing 787 with the registration G-ZBJE taking off from London Heathrow Airport (LHR) in the United Kingdom. British Airways is the flag carrier airline of the United Kingdom based at London Heathrow airport.

One day after British Airways announced they would no longer require passengers to wear face coverings on certain flights, the flag carrier will once again make them mandatory.
With more passengers getting vaccinated against the virus causing COVID-19, international airlines are slowly starting to drop face mask requirements.


However, British Airways is walking back their stance on coverings, without so much as an explanation to the public. On the FlyerTalk forums, insiders from the company say they the plans to drop masks has been put on hold indefinitely.


Website Language Reaffirms Mandatory Face Mask Usage Aboard British Airways

Previously, the airline said they would no longer require passengers to comply with mask rules on routes where it was no longer legally required. This did not include flights to and from the United States, where the mask mandate will continue into April.


However, according to those working with the airline, those plans are no longer moving forward. FlyerTalker EJetter notes: “Masks still required for passengers and crew (on CityFlyer at least, I don’t have visibility of the mainline…The company is looking into some compliance issues so masks are required on all [British Airways] and BA CityFlyer flights for the time being.”


FlyerTalker Welcome On Board confirms EJetter’s findings: “We’ve been told an issue which they can’t disclose has arisen so masks will remain mandatory on all flights until further notice. Great joy for the crew who will now have to police this after a jazzy social media campaign from BA about removal of masks from today.”


In addition, the British Airways website still says masks are required both in the airport and aboard flights. On a page dedicated to the in-flight experience, the company states: “We require you to wear a face mask at all times. As a guide they last up to four hours, so bring enough for the duration of your trip.” In addition, the carrier is asking passengers to stay in their seats as much as possible, and “Try to minimize movement around the cabin as much as you can.”


The move comes after London Heathrow Airport (LHR) and Virgin Atlantic stopped requiring face masks in many situations. While Heathrow still “strongly encourages” flyers wear face coverings, Virgin Atlantic will allow flyers to travel mask free on select routes.


British Airways has not publicly commented on the policy reversal.


European Airlines Slowly Move Away from Face Covering Rules

Even though British Airways will once again require face coverings, others are slowly starting to loosen rules. British carrier Jet2 dropped mask mandates on flights within England and Northern Ireland, while Scandinavian carriers Fly, Norwegian, SAS and Wideroe have not required face coverings for travel within Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

the810 March 18, 2022

They only postponed it. Masks aren't required on routes where there's no mask mandate as of yesterday and the BA website confirms it.

Dr.Ells March 18, 2022


uhberific March 17, 2022

Simple solution for crew who are displeased at the about-turn: just stop policing it.

CaptHolic March 17, 2022

That is to bad...
I would give up my 1K status with United to the first alliance that globally drops the mask nonesense!

BMGRAHAM March 17, 2022

Let's hope this is just temporary. Also it is not needed to require masks for the whole trip. It's only necessary when you in US airspace. I look forward to that being the new procedure soon. It's ridiculous to require wearing them after leaving US airspace. By the way why is the word p-a-s-senger (spelled correctly) banned from comments just because it contains the word a-s-s?