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Airlines

JetBlue Will Now Require Passengers to Wear Face Masks

JetBlue Will Now Require Passengers to Wear Face Masks
Taylor Rains

As airlines continue to create new policies to implement social distancing and promote onboard safety, such as keeping the middle seat empty, JetBlue has become the first U.S. airline to require passengers to wear face masks when they travel.

JetBlue Face Mask Policy

Beginning Tuesday, the carrier announced that all passengers would be required to wear a face mask when traveling, including check-in, deplaning, and everything in between. Although forcing passengers to wear face masks is not an FAA regulation at this time, JetBlue saw the need for its new policy as a means to keep everyone safe. The airline’s president and COO, Joanna Geraghty, said in a statement, “Wearing a face covering isn’t about protecting yourself; it’s about protecting those around you. This is the new flying etiquette. Onboard, cabin air is well circulated and cleaned through filters every few minutes, but this is a shared space where we have to be considerate of others.”

Will Other Airlines Follow?

Although airlines such as Delta, American, United, and Frontier, have started requiring their flight attendants to wear face masks inflight, that requirement has not yet been forced on to passengers. Instead, they are encouraging travelers to follow the guidelines presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for face coverings. However, some unions do not believe this is enough.

The Association of Flight Attendants has written to the U.S Transportation Secretary and the Health and Human Services Secretary asking them to mandate flight crews and passengers alike be required to wear face masks. However, it appears the federal government is leaving it up to the airlines to make that decision. In response to the union, U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said, “We are encouraging the unions and the management of the airlines to talk to one another, and we are also participating in bringing them together and talking about these issues.”

What do you think about JetBlue’s new policy? Should other airlines follow suit? Let us know in the comments!

View Comments (16)

16 Comments

  1. glob99

    April 28, 2020 at 1:14 pm

    Will the airline provide the facemask?

  2. jonsail

    April 28, 2020 at 5:22 pm

    This would make me more likely to pick JetBlue for travel.

  3. jmj9905

    April 28, 2020 at 6:21 pm

    Who is going to supply the masks?

  4. Mike Rivers

    April 29, 2020 at 4:48 am

    I think it’s a good idea, as long as they’re prepared to provide a mask – at no extra charge, of course – for every ticketed passenger who doesn’t have one of his own. But I believe that not being too close to others, even mask-wearers, is important, so I hope they don’t use the masks as a reason not to space out seating.

  5. tromboneboss

    April 29, 2020 at 5:06 am

    I guess I’ll fly another airline then as this is not based on the current testing results. Recent controlled studies done in S Korea with Covid 19 show that the homemade cloth masks do not even prevent the spread of the virus. A Petřínské dish outside of a masked Covid 19 person still collected virus particles. The airline representative is wrong. The only way to prevent spread on an infected person is with the N95 masks and those are reserved for the hospitals.

  6. BMGRAHAM

    April 29, 2020 at 5:10 am

    IATA’s doctor David Powell has already said this does little to prevent sickness. This is all about others imposing their fears on others.

  7. Marathon Man

    April 29, 2020 at 5:13 am

    I think this is a good article and a good policy. Nobody likes wearing these masks so my only hope is that people can get them if the one they have breaks or fails or gets dirty from over use and not have that become a new reason for passengers vs flight crew battles.

    For example, just like how many ski areas have tissue dispensers right at the lift lines where people are standing in line, can airline gates and check in areas have a mask dispenser or will some opportunist make us buy them for $9 or something just because they can?

    To me, the whole airline world had gotten away with that type of thing for too long… you must throw away your water bottle you bought at the store for 50 cents because of security and then you can buy one in the terminal for $4 or maybe wait for a tiny one on the plane once it finally gets up to 10,000 feet

    That is BS!

    These masks we all need MUST be easy to get and while we are all responsible for having them, I think when we fly, we all know there are mistakes and errors and also instances where something as simple as this could so easily be rectified without some stupid arguments breaking out or people being ripped off or airline personnel being put in the middle of ugly and unsafe situations.

    Please! I beg these things are really well thought through!!

    Also.. on a lighter note, I have a fun picture involving masks I wanted to share. Cant remember if there’s a way to post one in FT and to be honest, trying to find an easy way to reach you, Jackie, is not easy. I don’t have twitter, can’t linked in you until we are friends, cant find you on fb, your site link seems to not work for me (could be on my end) and I cannot find an email address for you. I will pm you here though and maybe that works?

    Stay safe and healthy everyone!

    :) MM

  8. PepeBorja

    April 29, 2020 at 5:19 am

    I just completed a RT between PHL-MSP on AA. On one leg the FAs wore masks during boarding and unboarding. I had two pilots with me on FC. One never wore a mask and the other one wore a mask on the ground but removed it during flight. The other leg had the FAs with masks all the time. In both cases the cockpit crew did not have masks. At the airport it was 50-50 with gate agents.

    What you learn from observing is that these folks are hyperexposed and yet here they are… doing their duty and helping out.

    I will not fly in an airline that requires face masks. so I hope AA does not follow suit. The governemnt arbitratlrily forcing me to wear a face mask under penalty of fine and imprisonment is one thing… but an airline? No way.

  9. Global Adventurer

    April 29, 2020 at 6:10 am

    This should be mandatory on every flight on every airline.

  10. GodAtum

    April 29, 2020 at 7:14 am

    So what happens if you loose it at the airport after checkin, will they turn you away?

  11. rundmc

    April 29, 2020 at 9:26 am

    No! Facemasks completely do not stop the spread of a virus. There is no good science indicating it does, although there’s a lot of bad science out there telling us all kinds of things, including “oh, now facemasks will save us.” What’s next – full bubble suits for everyone? For one, viruses are microscopic. Unless your facemask includes a full HEPA filter on it – which virtually none do, viruses can still move through facemasks – both ways. (After all, China is one of the countries with the most use of facemasks long before CV – largely because of the incredible pollution. So, if facemasks helped stop the spread of viruses, we wouldn’t be dealing with this craziness at all…..) And, lots of people just wrap scarfs or homemade cloths around their faces which don’t help with microscopic organisms at all, so there is no consistency in what material people use anyway. Second, does anyone believe people will be washing and/or sterilizing their masks regularly? Those things are going to get nasty real soon and then they’ll just help spread bacteria and mold. Third, wearing a mask constantly then prevents your own respiratory system use fresh air to clean out your lungs which is actually MORE harmful to people with respiratory issues not to mention, depresses the ability for those of us with healthy respiratory systems to let it do the work biology meant it to do. Fourthly, I can barely hear people talk through masks. What do we do in emergencies when attendants, pilots are talking through masks and people can’t hear or understand them…..?! I think this is just laziness on behalf of an airline. Instead of ensuring the plane is sterilized and the air filter system in each plane is also sterilized, they’ll put all the load on passengers to wear masks and then say “job done.” This is all insane!

  12. Morgacj2004

    April 29, 2020 at 11:32 am

    This is a personal choice and I will do my best to avoid flying on an airline that requires one. My wife wears a mask I usually do not. You can find medical / research opinions on either side. This should be left up to the individual airlines. The idiotic FA Union should focus on their members safety and stay out of passenger rights and policy matters. The other day the head of the FA Union was telling everyone not to fly while the members were complaining about the economic impact on their lives! Definitely a mis connect going on here

  13. kaley1kt

    April 29, 2020 at 1:10 pm

    Definitely will make me less likely to fly. Until the airlines commit to completely cleaning and sanitizing a plane between flights, this is (no pun intended) masking the true issue instead of addressing it. most people don’t wear masks correctly, and I see few being able to wear them for hours at a time without pulling them off of their noses or faces which render them completely ineffective. Additionally, unless the airlines are going to be handing them out on every flight it is also not truly effective. Plus how is somebody supposed to eat and drink on flight if they’re expected to cover their face? a puddle jumper maybe, but for any flight over an hour I don’t see how this is going to be effective in the long run.

  14. craig44485

    April 29, 2020 at 4:54 pm

    Looks like I won’t be flying JetBlue if ever I was given the opportunity. Like others have asked, will JetBlue be providing the facemasks? If you are required to bring your own, will there be a standard required for them? Will there be a charge for them, will they up charge or sell at cost? Maybe a new source of revenue now, free standard masks for elites, top tier elites get N95 masks for free, but for a fee, anyone can purchase either a standard or N95 mask, with the airline logo and colors proudly printed on each mask as an additional source of advertising.

  15. RossUK666

    April 30, 2020 at 2:24 am

    Presumably they don’t allow eating and drinking on their flights?

  16. Silver Fox

    April 30, 2020 at 3:54 am

    12-18 months of the financial apocalypse is not sustainable until, so the experts tell us, they find the magic pill. I hate to say it but at some stage someone is going to have to make that hard decision that says “right, herd immunity it is”. I’m quite happy to catch it and take my chances, I’m not willing to live the rest of my life having to wear latex gloves, face masks, or whatever else they ricochet between while not coming up with a joined up solution across the globe.

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