Beginning May 4, JetBlue will officially be requiring all passengers aboard the airline’s flights to wear a face covering or face mask. The airline is the first in the U.S. to mandate the precaution as an official rule to fly.
“Wearing a face covering isn’t about protecting yourself it’s about protecting those around you,” Joanna Geraghty, president and CEO of JetBlue, said in a statement. “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. We are also asking our customers to follow these CDC guidelines in the airport as well.”
According to Local 10 news, the policy will expand to not only while in flight, but also during check-in, boarding, and deplaning. At this time, small children are exempt from this requirement.
American Airlines and United Airlines recently announced that all flight attendants will be required to wear masks. However, the precaution is optional for passengers. Additionally, American Airlines says it will also begin distributing sanitizing wipes or gels and face masks to customers in early May.
Delta Airlines is “strongly encouraging” passengers to wear masks that it is offering to them, while also requiring that all employees wear them.
The regulation of mandatory face coverings is JetBlue’s most recent change in its pursuit to help stop the spread of the pandemic. In March, the company had begun limiting the number of seats available for sale on most flights in an attempt to provide social distance between people who are not traveling together.
As we’ve previously reported, the number of travelers in the air has decreased quite substantially since the spread of the pandemic. Due to this lack of air travelers, JetBlue and Delta are currently looking for approval from the U.S. Transportation Department to suspend flights to more than two dozen U.S. airports.
According to AOL News, JetBlue wants to halt flights to 16 U.S. airports, including Chicago, Atlanta, Houston, Seattle, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Dallas and Detroit through Sept. 30. All the while, Delta is looking to suspend flights to nine airports: Lansing, Flint and Grand Rapids in Michigan, and Worcester, Massachusetts, Hilton Head, South Carolina, Pocatello, Idaho, Brunswick, Georgia, and Melbourne, Florida. Delta argues passengers can other use nearby airports.
Both companies are only looking to make these changes temporarily while the pandemic continues to inhibit travel plans of the majority of U.S. travelers.
The airlines must maintain minimum service levels in exchange for getting cash grants from the U.S. Treasury to assist in payroll costs. Although, they can maintain these grants if the department issues a waiver.
At this time, it’s not known when Walt Disney World or Disneyland will see reopening. Currently, both Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort hotels are accepting reservations for June stays. If you or your family are planning a trip to either resort during this time, be sure to plan ahead and check your airline’s flight policies as you may be required to wear a face covering in order to board your flight.
What are your thoughts on passengers aboard JetBlue flights being required to wear a face covering to fly? Let us know in the comments!