In April 2022, after a federal judge in Florida struck down the federal U.S. Transportation mask mandate, all major U.S. Airlines lifted their pandemic-era mask requirements for domestic flights.
However, there remains a requirement for masking on some international flights, but individual airlines in Europe have their own policies. Nevertheless, the EU has advised countries to drop the requirement for masking on airports and airplanes, resulting in an effect.
Some airlines that operate in South America still require passengers to wear masks.
Travelers should always verify the prerequisites for the airline and route they are traveling since regulations can and do alter.
This is the crucial information that travelers should know about the use of face coverings on flights, both domestically and internationally.
These are the revised mask regulations for every American airline. In accordance with the ruling in April 2022, all the prominent American airlines have eliminated their mask mandates for both crew members and travelers on domestic flights.
Alaska Airlines: Face coverings are not mandatory. Alaska promptly made the determination to grant passengers the option of wearing masks during its flights following the decision made on April 18.
American Airlines reminds travelers that face masks may still be required when traveling to or from international destinations. Masks on planes are optional.
Delta Air Lines: Masks are voluntary. “Delta employees and customers may still opt to wear masks if they desire,” Delta informs customers.
JetBlue: Masks are not required.
If you need to board or be at the airport ready, we always welcome you and if you prefer, while traveling, you should wear a mask “on the airplane or in the airport” as Southwest Airlines informs that masks are no longer required by federal law but are optional.
United Airlines states, “While our employees are no longer required to wear masks, this means that the public will still be able to choose if they want to wear masks in order to continue following the CDC’s strong recommendation for mask wearing. Additionally, United Airlines no longer enforces a mask requirement for the public when flying, making it optional for passengers.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) still advises the use of a properly fitted mask for individuals aged two and above when using public transportation and in transportation hubs, such as airports and airplanes. This recommendation remains in effect despite the fact that masks are no longer mandatory on domestic flights.
The CDC has advised everyone to wear a properly fitting respirator or mask to help protect themselves and those around them, ensuring safer public transportation and travel.
The majority of European airlines do not mandate masks—Iberia is a rare case.
Some European carriers, as mentioned above, still require masks to be worn on flights, even if the country of departure or arrival no longer mandates them.
Flights connecting Ireland and Spain as well as Ireland and Austria necessitate the use of masks. On the other hand, masks are discretionary for flights within Ireland and for those traveling to and from the U.K., The U.S., And certain European countries such as Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland, and Turkey.
Masks may be recommended (but not mandatory) for passengers aged six and above, depending on the country of departure or destination, and Air France might enforce their usage.
BA provides a useful schedule for each destination it serves, which specifies whether masks are necessary during the flight and at the terminal. British Airways will still enforce mask-wearing on routes, except for flights to or from places where mask mandates are still in place. The U.K. Airline has lifted its mask requirement.
Finnair: Masks are optional unless mandated by the country of departure or arrival.
Iberia: The Spanish airline still mandates masks on their flights.
Icelandair: Face coverings are discretionary on all Icelandair flights.
ITA Airways: The Italian carrier does not mandate passengers to wear face coverings.
However, we do recommend that you wear a mask during your KLM flight as most states on longer required masks.
Lufthansa suggests to passengers, “Please familiarize yourself with the guidelines at the airports during your trip. Wearing masks might still be obligatory at certain airports and on specific flights.” The German airline no longer mandates the use of masks.
SAS: The Scandinavian airline no longer mandates face coverings on their flights, except for those traveling to and from China.
TAP Air Portugal mandates that masks are no longer required on flights to or from the destination country or the origin country.
Virgin Atlantic does not mandate the use of masks on all flights between the U.K. And the U.S., Including destinations to and from those places.
Mask mandates on various international airlines
Aeromexico: Face coverings are now discretionary on Aeromexico flights.
Canada Transport, although the requirement for masks has been lifted, states that “throughout their journey,” well-fitted and high-quality masks are recommended for all crew members and passengers on its flights. It is no longer mandatory for Canada’s national carrier, Air Canada, to require face masks on their flights.
Air New Zealand: Masks are no longer necessary on Air New Zealand flights unless required by the destination nation.
ANA: The Japanese airline “asks” but does not mandate that passengers wear masks.
Passengers are required to wear masks throughout the entire duration of the flight on Cathay Pacific, an airline based in Hong Kong. However, there is an exception for passengers when they are drinking or eating.
Emirates declares, “During your trip, the mask regulations of your final location will be in effect if you are traveling from or passing through Dubai International.” Face coverings are not mandatory on all Emirates flights.
The LATAM Group clarifies that wearing masks on LATAM flights is not obligatory, except for domestic flights within Brazil, Colombia, and Ecuador, and international flights operated by LATAM Airlines Brazil, where it remains compulsory. The requirement for masks varies depending on the specific Latin American country the flight is traveling to and from.
Qantas: Face masks are no longer required on flights to and within Australia. They are only compulsory if requested by the particular destination.
According to Singapore Airlines, the Asian carrier, face masks are not mandatory at Singapore Changi Airport and during flights, unless traveling to or from places that mandate the use of a face mask.
Turkish Airlines: Masks are not obligatory unless mandated by the country you are traveling to.
The U.S. State Department’s comprehensive COVID-19 travel information and country-specific advisories are valuable sources of mask policy details. It is important for travelers to stay updated on the masking regulations for their intended destination(s), as these regulations are subject to regular updates. Similar to flights, the rules may vary depending on the specific destination. This also applies to airports worldwide.
This article was initially released in May 2022, and has been revised to incorporate up-to-date data.