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Do I need to wear a mask during travel?

On May 1, 2020, we introduced the Southwest® Promise describing our stringent cleaning and Safety practices to support the health and wellness of our Employees and Customers, in response to this unprecedented time. Requiring face coverings or masks encompasses how we will support a “new normal” in travel while continuing to demonstrate the same warmth, care, and reliability our Customers expect from us every day. 


How long will face coverings be required?  

While we expect this to be a temporary requirement, we do not have a confirmed end date for when face coverings will not be required for air travel. We're actively monitoring CDC guidelines and making the necessary adjustments as needed.  


What’s an acceptable form of a mask or face covering 

In accordance with the current CDC guidance, any well-secured cloth (like a scarf or a bandana) or mask that covers an individual’s nose and mouth will be accepted. 


What happens if I forget my face covering?  

If you do not bring a mask or a face covering, Southwest will provide you with one. 


Will children be required to wear face coverings 

Children under the age of two who may not be able to keep a face covering on will be exempt. 


I have a medical condition that prevents me from being able to wear a face covering. Will I be required to wear one 


If a Customer is unable to wear a face covering for any reason (even a verifiable medical condition), we regret that we are unable to transport the Customer at this time, due to safety risk of asymptomatic COVID-19 transmission by Customers without face coverings. In other words, because of public health guidance recognizing the important role of face coverings in preventing the transmission of COVID-19, Southwest will temporarily refuse to transport any passenger who is unable to wear a mask even if the Customer has a verifiable medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask.​


When will I be required to wear a face covering?  


Customers will be required to wear a face covering over their nose and mouth at all times during their Southwest travel experience—while checking in, boarding, while in flight, deplaning, retrieving baggage; and any other time they may engage with a Southwest Employee or another Customer.  Customers are required to wear a face covering in order to board the plane.


We do acknowledge there may be times when a Customer needs to briefly remove their face covering, for instance, to eat, drink, or take medicine. However, we expect these instances to be very brief, and Customers should put their face covering back on as soon as possible. Customers should remove face coverings if a decompression event occurs and they are asked to use an oxygen mask.



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