TSA Reminds Flyers: Wear Face Coverings or Face Consequences

TSA Reminds Flyers: Wear Face Coverings or Face Consequences
Joe Cortez

As the Transportation Security Administration is preparing for the return of summer travel, the agency is reminding flyers to wear their face mask as they pass through the checkpoint. Face coverings are still required aboard commercial aircraft, regardless of vaccination status.

While the Transportation Security Administration says they are prepared for a potentially busy summer travel season, the agency is also reminding flyers to keep their face coverings on as they take to the skies. In a speech, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and senior official performing the duties of the TSA Administrator Darby LaJoye reminded the flying public they are still required to wear a face covering at the airport and aboard aircraft.

TSA Recommends Coming Early and Wearing a Face Covering

As COVID-19 vaccines are distributed across the country, many states are rolling back face mask requirements in public. However, the national face mask mandate on public transportation still stands. This is creating an increasing amount of trouble aboard commercial aircraft, as the Federal Aviation Administration says they have received around 1,900 reports of flyers refusing to wear a face covering aboard flights.

The TSA is reminding flyers that even if they have been vaccinated, they are still required to wear a face covering from when they arrive at the airport, to when they leave at their destination. On the ground, the agency says there has been “near-total voluntary compliance among the entire transport system.”

“For those passengers returning to travel for the first time since 2019, be aware that some processes at the checkpoint have changed and some, like removing your shoes, remain in place,” said LaJoye. “Additionally, during high volume months, travelers should plan to arrive early at the airport to complete the airport screening process and arrive timely at their departure gate.”

The TSA is also rolling out new technologies to help screening go faster and easier for everyone. The agency has deployed over 500 credential automation technology (CAT) units to 88 airports, allowing flyers to scan their own ID and ticket to verify themselves without handing their items to a TSA official. In addition, the TSA has issued 323 CT luggage scanners to 141 airports, allowing agents to take a 3D look into a bag without opening it for further inspection. Those traveling through an airport with a CT scanner will not need to remove their laptops or 3-1-1 liquid bags.

Over Two Million Americans Expected at the Airport for Memorial Day

With travel around the world slowly reopening, Memorial Day could only be the start of a very crowded 2021 at the airport. AAA estimates over the Memorial Day weekend alone, 2.5 million Americans are expected to fly, a rise of 577 percent compared to 2020.

View Comments (11)


  1. c502cid

    May 26, 2021 at 10:13 pm

    Wear face coverings OR FACE CONSEQUENCES said the travel site that you would think want the travel industry to be successful, but shows daily, they want the opposite. “Flyertalk, making sure travel stays miserable”

  2. vargha

    May 27, 2021 at 10:39 am

    The government’s mall cops have spoken. Wear your face mask!

  3. cmd320

    May 27, 2021 at 1:27 pm

    Not really sure what the TSA has to do with mask mandates.

  4. Gizzabreak

    May 27, 2021 at 11:49 pm

    @ c502cid … Akerly … if your put your reading spectacles on and read the headline again, I think you’ll find that was the TSA, NOT Flyertalk, that said “(TSA) Reminds Flyers: Wear Face Coverings or Face Consequences”. Flyertalk simply (accurately) REPORTED TSA’s statement. If you then still prefer to believe that the statement was something Flyertalk invented to deter aviation based tourism, then I guess that’s your prerogative.

  5. SamirD

    May 28, 2021 at 12:16 am

    I flew just ahead of what will surely be a madhouse and it’s a covid superspreader event for sure–in Atlanta the trains squawked about keeping 6 feet distances while everyone was lucky to have 1feet distance and half the train was laughing at the announcement. On my flight, apparently there were enough people not complying with the mask mandate that the pilot had to get on the horn and let people know that if they did not comply with federal and delta rules, that security is available to meet them when we arrive at the destination. I didn’t see any security at the destination so I guess that shook them up, but judging on this instance, I bet we will have several articles of non-compliance this week…

  6. MRM

    May 29, 2021 at 12:48 pm

    c502cid and vargha:

    So you’re some of “those” people? It’s not a hard rule at all to follow – masks are easy to purchase anywhere nowadays – many even at discount prices!

    FYI: I don’t like wearing masks either but am plenty smart enough to simply wear one in some areas of society rather than beech and moan about it – or ignore and unnecessarily complicate my life. But hey – you guys keep doing you while myself and most others keep flying through airport security and other facets of life by making simple sacrifices for a little while longer…

  7. catocony

    May 29, 2021 at 3:10 pm

    “Come early”. Yeah, TSA, where travelers pay a large sum in fees and taxes to have their time wasted and dignity taken.

  8. craig44485

    June 1, 2021 at 11:38 am

    “Both the CDC and TSA rules note that those who do not wear a face mask are subject to civil penalties, as well as other actions from their carriers. This includes being denied entry, boarding, or continued transport.” That was the initial mandate, but now, CDC is saying people who have been fully vaccinated no longer need to wear a face mask. When will these 2 agencies get on the same page?


    June 3, 2021 at 5:00 am

    You should not have to wear a mask if you are vaccinated. The CDC not TSA sets the medical standards for this country.

  10. MRM

    June 3, 2021 at 7:02 am

    @craig44485: Probably when people around this country and then the world are vaccinated at high enough levels that constant transmission/infection isn’t a threat in a flying tube at 20K feet.

  11. JG_Aus

    June 8, 2021 at 3:15 pm

    It should be a long time before people are allowed to fly without face masks. I don’t like it either, but it’s a simple, safe and effective precaution. I hope that they make certain that those who don’t comply are met by security at the other end. Would prefer to see them placed on temporary airline “no fly” lists. If they can’t follow simple rules they can drive.

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