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United Airlines: Immediately Put Face Masks on After Eating or Drinking

United Airlines: Immediately Put Face Masks on After Eating or Drinking
Joe Cortez

After a rash of clever attempts to circumvent face covering rules aboard United Airlines, the carrier has now updated their COVID-19 face mask policy online. The subtle change mandates flyers must immediately put back face coverings after eating or drinking.

United Airlines is once again tightening their face covering policies, after a number of flyers used eating or drinking as a way to potentially circumvent the rules. On the airline’s website, their latest policy change mandates all flyers must return their mask to covering their mouth and nose after eating or drinking.

Flyers Must “Immediately Put Face Coverings Back On”

Under their frequently asked questions section of their flying experience page, United is making it clear that non-compliance under the ruse of eating or drinking will not be allowed.

“While you can remove your face covering briefly to eat or drink, you must immediately put it back on afterward,” the new FAQ answer states. “If you refuse to follow United’s face covering policy while in the airport or on board a United flight, you may be refused transport and could also lose your travel privileges on United for a certain period of time that will be determined when we review the incident.”

Common sense still remains at the Chicago-based carrier. If the cabin experiences a sudden depressurization, flyers are allowed to take off their face coverings, only to put on the oxygen masks that fall from the aircraft ceiling.

While the airline changed some of their in-flight amenities at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, FlyerTalkers indicate they are once again offering limited food and beverage service aboard flights. However, the airline is equipping their flight attendants with personal protective gear to minimize contact between flight attendants and passengers.

Despite New Face Mask Rule, United Continues to Book to Capacity

Although the airline is making the change to encourage all passengers to wear face coverings aboard flights, they continue to book flights “to capacity” when necessary, ignoring social distancing guidelines. To combat that, the carrier says they are constantly cleaning high-touch surfaces and using HEPA filters to keep cabin air clean.

In addition, their policy stipulates all passengers two-years-old and above must wear a face covering. The policy has run afoul of some parents, who claim the policy is unfair to toddlers and small children who are flying with the airline.

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