United, American, Southwest Airlines and others say masks are no longer necessary – NBC Chicago

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle struck down the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s current nationwide mandate on airplanes and public transportation.

The Florida judge’s 59-page decision said the CDC failed to provide a rationale for its decision and failed to follow proper rule-making procedures, which left it fatally flawed.

The CDC had recently extended a federal mask mandate on public transportation and in transit hubs through May 3, to allow more time to study the BA.2 omicron subvariant of the coronavirus now responsible for the vast majority of cases in the United States.

Regarding the ruling, a White House administration official said Monday, “Agencies are reviewing the ruling and evaluating potential next steps. In the meantime, today’s court ruling means the masking order CDC Public Transportation Service is not in effect at this time.

Therefore, the TSA will not be enforcing its safety guidelines and emergency amendment requiring mask wearing on public transportation and transportation hubs at this time.”

Based on that decision, here’s a look at the major U.S. airlines that are lifting their mask mandates for domestic flights.

American Airlines: masks are no longer necessary

“Consistent with the Transportation Security Administration no longer enforcing the federal face mask mandate,” American Airlines said in a statement Monday. “Face masks will no longer be required for our customers and team members at US airports and on domestic flights. Please note that face masks may still be required depending on local ordinances, or when traveling to/from some international sites depending on country requirements.”

Alaska Airlines: masks are no longer necessary

“Face masks have been like boarding passes for nearly two years — you couldn’t fly without one,” Alaska Airlines said in a statement. “But, from today, masks are optional at airports and on board planes, effective immediately.”

“Due to a court order by our federal court system, the mask mandate has been revoked, meaning our guests and employees have the option to wear a mask while traveling in the United States and at work.”

Delta: masks are no longer necessary

“Following a U.S. District Court judge’s decision on Monday, the Biden administration announced that the Transportation Security Administration will no longer enforce the federal mandate requiring masks at all U.S. airports and on airplanes.” , Delta said in a statement. “Effective immediately, masks are optional for all airport employees, crew members and customers inside U.S. airports and on board all domestic aircraft, as well as on most international flights. .”

Frontier Airlines: masks are no longer necessary

“To hide or not to hide, the choice is yours” Frontier said in a tweet. “Masks are now optional on domestic flights, however, some airports or countries may still require masks, so check your destination’s policy before departure and we’ll see you in the sky.”

Southwest Airlines: masks are no longer necessary

“Effective immediately, Southwest employees and customers will be able to choose whether they wish to wear a mask on flights, at domestic airports and at select international locations,” a statement from Southwest Airlines said.

Spirit Airlines: masks are no longer necessary

“We require all customers to complete a health certificate upon check-in,” says Spirit Airlines. “Wearing a face covering is now optional at domestic airports and on Spirit flights. However, local laws and regulations must be observed at all of our international airports.”

JetBlue: masks are no longer necessary

“Consistent with Monday’s federal court decision and guidance from the Transportation Security Administration, wearing a mask will now be optional on JetBlue,” a statement from the airline said. Although no longer mandatory, customers and crew members are encouraged to continue wearing masks in our terminals and on board our aircraft.”

“Regardless of the US rule change, customers and crew members traveling overseas should always have a mask with them in case they continue to be needed at their destination.”

United Airlines: masks are no longer necessary

“Effective today, masks are no longer required at United on domestic flights, certain international flights (depending on the mask requirements of the country of arrival) or at U.S. airports,” United Airlines said in a statement Monday.

Are masks still required at O’Hare, Midway and other airports?

Under the old mask mandate, masks were required by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which meant masks had to be worn at airports.

However, when Judge Mizelle overturned the warrant, that changed.

Regarding the ruling, a White House administration official said Monday, “Agencies are reviewing the ruling and evaluating potential next steps. In the meantime, today’s court ruling means the masking order CDC Public Transportation Service is not in effect at this time.

Therefore, the TSA will not be enforcing its safety guidelines and emergency amendment requiring mask wearing on public transportation and transportation hubs at this time.”

According to a statement from the Chicago Department of Aviation, which administers all aspects of Chicago O’Hare and Midway International Airports, CDA defers to TSA guidelines.

“The CDA will continue to follow, observe and enforce all current and future guidance from federal, state and local health and safety authorities. For more information on the federal mask mandate for public transportation, please refer to the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).”

Are masks still required on public transit in Chicago?

Currently, some agencies require them and some do not. Here is a breakdown:

  • Call to action: Always required. “Masks are still required on CTA trains and buses,” the CTA said in an email to NBC Chicago on Monday. “If this requirement changes, we will notify customers.”
  • Metra: Still needed. “We are not making any immediate changes to the mask requirement while we assess the situation,” Metra said in an email to NBC Chicago on Monday.
  • Pace: Always required.
  • South Shore Line, operated by the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District: Not required. The line says she will eliminate her mask mandate after the court ruling.

Are masks required on rideshares in Chicago?

Uber: Not required. According to a statement from Uber, “As of April 19, 2022, passengers and drivers are not required to wear a mask while using Uber. However, the CDC still recommends wearing a mask if you have certain risk factors. and/or high levels of transmission in your area.”

Lyft: As of Tuesday morning, Lyft did not release a statement on the decision.

This article will be updated as new information becomes available.

Comments are closed.