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Re: Face masks no longer mandatory? 3/14/2020

Aviator A

@SarahJean wrote:

Our local news was saying that SW inflight crews will not enforce keeping masks on if passengers remove them during flight. Contradictory to what was said a week or two ago.   

So what would you do if in mid flight passengers remove masks?


1) Beat them up for not following the rules


2) Divert to the nearest airport and have them force ably removed from the plane (inconveniencing everybody on the plane in the process)


3) Talk to them about the rule and ask them to adhere to it (this is what s happening)


4) Any other suggestion?

Re: Face masks no longer mandatory? 3/14/2020

Aviator A

Unfortunately, in America, we've reached a point where -- regardless of the consequences to others -- it's impossible to expect everyone to do as advised. Even during a global pandemic. The general sense of entitlement, combined with a mistaken understanding of the meaning of personal "rights" and abject refusal of corresponding responsibilities, seemingly empower many to do as they please, with no regard for anyone else. 😞

Re: Face masks no longer mandatory? 3/14/2020

Explorer C

Being a former Flight Attendant, I would first ask them to put the mask back on. If they didn't, I would notify the cockpit and request an announcement. If they still did not comply, I'd move them to the back row, middle seat. 😉

Re: Face masks no longer mandatory? 3/14/2020

Adventurer A

It is highly encouraged to bring your own hand sanitizer and mask, and to wear your mask while traveling. Face coverings or masks will be required for Customers starting May 11. If you forget your mask at home, one will be available for you.”

Re: Face masks no longer mandatory? 3/14/2020

Aviator A

Right or wrong, I am afraid that switching airlines would not accomplish your goal of ensuring mask usage. All the major US airlines are apparently not enforcing the use of masks onboard even though they are listing it as a requirement.


It is indeed a no-win situation because folks act like being asked to wear a mask is somehow infringing on their rights.  But it's very unfortunate that any business would choose to communicate one thing and not do what they say. 


Masks make me feel better (regardless of whether they are actually effective), and if any airline says they are required, it is a reasonable expectation that you would be able to travel surrounded by folks in masks. Everyone. Because it is "required."


-A List, Companion Pass holder

Re: Face masks no longer mandatory? 3/14/2020

Aviator A

Perhaps the policy wording should be something like


"All passengers are required to wear masks*"


*except those that have a valid reason not to.


There are some people that cannot wear masks for medical reasons.


Jet Blue is the only airline with a "no exceptions" policy. I have not heard of any passengers being 

removed from aircraft. So maybe "official" really is not "official."

Re: Face masks no longer mandatory? 3/14/2020

Frequent Flyer B


As mentioned upstream, there are exceptions/exemptions as noted below.

I, too, feel the wording should be changed.


From SWA's FAQs

Should I wear a mask in the airport and on the plane?

Yes, Customers will be required to wear a mask or a face covering in the airport and on the plane beginning May 11. If you do not bring a mask or a face covering, Southwest will provide you with one.

Acceptable forms of masks or face coverings

In accordance with the current CDC guidance, any well-secured cloth or mask that covers your nose and mouth will be accepted.

Exemptions to masks or face coverings

  • Young children who may not be able to keep a mask on.
  • Customers who have a disability or underlying medical condition that may prevent them from being able to wear a face covering.
  • Anyone who has trouble breathing, is incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the face covering without assistance.

When we expect Customers to wear face coverings

In accordance with the current CDC guidance, Customers will be required to wear a face covering over their nose and mouth anytime distancing is not feasible—while checking in, boarding, inflight, deplaning, retrieving baggage; and any other time they may engage with a Southwest Employee or another Customer.

There may also be times when a Customer needs to temporarily remove their face covering, for instance, to eat or drink.

Customers should also remove face coverings if a decompression event occurs and they are asked to use an oxygen mask, or in the event a Customer is supporting an onboard emergency, like performing CPR.