Policies on the use of the mask on different airlines

Different commercial airlines have announced that passengers and crew members must wear face coverings during check-in, boarding and flight. Although these policies have been in place for months, airlines are tightening enforcement of means of coercion for the general use of masks. According to the Industry Trade Organization Airlines for America. 

Passengers without masks can be denied boarding. Some airlines, including United, are taking it a step further by suspending passengers, who do not comply with the rules, from future trips.

Small children are not required to wear face coverings nor are passengers with medical conditions that prevent them from wearing masks. It is unclear how airlines will make these exceptions, so it’s best to bring a doctor’s note if you have an underlying condition.

All middle seats will be locked

Right now, only Alaska Airlines, Delta, Hawaiian Airlines and JetBlue are blocking seats for sale to limit the number of passengers onboard. Passengers on these airlines will have more space to spread out.

As planned, the costs of air tickets changed greatly in price. Be sure to consider the extra space, or lack of it, when choosing the best flight value. It might be worth paying a little more for the extra space guarantee it offers.

Airline Policies

Alaska Airlines

Mask policy: requires all crew members and passengers over 2 years of age to wear masks.

Locked seats: Alaska is limiting all flights to 65% flight capacity until January 6, 2021. You can check for family options if you want to sit with your relatives.

Allegiant Airlines

Mask policy: requires passengers and crew to wear face coverings on board. They are providing passengers on all flights with a health and safety kit, including a single-use Face Mask, latex-free gloves and sanitizing wipes.

Locked seats: Allegiant does not limit capacity on your flights. Customers can request to be notified if their flight exceeds 65% of capacity so they can explore alternative travel options.

American Airlines

Mask policy: requires passengers 2 and older to wear a well-secured cloth covering or mask that fits snugly against the face and covers an individual’s nose and mouth. It must be made of a material that prevents the discharge and release of respiratory droplets from a person’s nose or mouth.

Locked seats: American Airlines is not limiting capacity on its flights. However, passengers may be relocated after boarding is completed to allow for additional distancing if seats are available. If you wish to move your flight to another date there is no surcharge.

Delta Airlines

Mask policy: Face coverings are required on Delta starting in the check-in lobby and across Delta touch points including Delta Sky Clubs, boarding gate areas, check in, jet bridges and on board the aircraft for the duration of the flight – except for a limited time while eating and drinking. Usage is also strongly encouraged in high-traffic areas, including security lines and restrooms.

Locked seats: Delta has one of the most generous locked seating arrangements in the industry. Middle seats are locked on larger aircraft and selected aisle seats are locked on smaller aircraft for travel through March 31, 2021.

Frontier Airlines

Passengers on Frontier Airlines are required to wear a face covering over their nose and mouth at Frontier ticket counters, gate areas and while on board the aircraft. The only exception is for children under the age of 2. Face coverings must fit snugly over the nose and mouth and be secured under the chin.

Locked seats: Frontier is blocking a limited number of middle seats at the front of the plane.

Temperature detections: notably, Frontier Airlines is the only airline that requires temperature detections of all passengers before boarding. They are using touchless technology to evaluate passengers and will deny boarding to anyone with a temperature of 100.4 ℉ or higher.

Hawaiian Airlines

Mask policy: guests are required to wear a face mask or covering over the mouth and nose while boarding, through the duration of the flight and while deplaning at their destination.

Masks with vents or valves, made of mesh or obviously transparent material will not be considered acceptable forms of face coverings. Children under the age of 2 are exempt from the policy.

Blocked seats: Hawaiian is currently blocking intermediate seats on the largest aircraft until December 15. Customers planning future trips should be prepared for the possibility that this policy may change prior to their trip.

JetBlue Airlines

Mask policy: Customers ages 2 and up are required to wear a face covering over their nose and mouth throughout their journey, including during check in, boarding, while in flight, while deplaning and in the terminal except for brief periods while eating or drinking. There are no face-covering exemptions on JetBlue other than for passengers under 2 years of age.

Locked seats: JetBlue is blocking all middle seats on larger planes and most aisle seats on smaller planes to allow on-board social distancing.

Southwest Airlines

Mask policy:  Customers are required to wear a face covering over their nose and mouth at all times during their Southwest travel experience. Travelers are strongly encouraged to bring their own hand sanitizer and face covering. A well-secured cloth or mask that fits snugly against the face, covers the nose and mouth and is secured under the chin will be accepted.

Locked seats: Southwest is limiting the number of tickets sold on each flight to allow for additional distancing.

Spirit Airlines

Mask policy: travelers must wear face covers over the nose and mouth when flying on Spirit Airlines. Masks are not provided, so customers need to pack their own.

Locked seats: Spirit does not limit the capacity on board its flights and points out that some planes may be fuller than others.

Sun Country Airlines

Masks policy: All guests have a duty to wear a mask or face cover while boarding and on board the aircraft. All crew members must also wear a mask.

Locked seats: Sun Country is not restricting access to intermediate seats or limiting on-board capacity on its flights.

United Airlines

Mask policy: On United, all travelers over the age of 2 are required to wear face coverings during the entire flight, in the airport, including at United customer service counters and kiosks, United Club locations, at the gate and in the baggage claim areas.

Blocked seats: United has not instituted capacity restrictions for their flight and passengers should be prepared for the possibility of completely sold out flights. However, if more than 70% of seats are reserved, passengers can move to another flight instead.

Like everything related to COVID-19, these policies are subject to change as airlines re-evaluate health concerns. If you are planning flights beyond the dates in current policies, keep an eye on airline announcements before your trip.