United, American, and Southwest Airlines will begin expanding their mask requirements

Airline expanding mask policy

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Before you head out to the airport, make sure you grab your mask. 

Major airlines like United will begin expanding their mask requirements starting Friday.

Most major airlines already require you to wear a mask on planes, but starting soon many will require them throughout the airports.

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Sydney Pollok stated that with these policies in place, she’s more likely to fly. 

“I feel a lot safer on the airlines that take more precautions,” Sydney Pollock said.  

Starting Friday, if you’re flying United you’ll have to keep your mask on not only on the plane, but throughout any airport that airline operates, especially at the ticket counters and the kiosk, or you could risk being banned from United, at least until the mask policy is in place.   

“They have to do that. Everybody has to follow directions, not only for yourself, but for others,” Amany Tafish said.  

“Especially in public places like an airport, it’s not a hassle for me at least, just wear it. Better than not wearing it,” Kyle Bump said.

I reached out to United Airlines to ask what a passenger should do if they have a medical condition preventing them from a wearing a mask. 

I received an email saying: Due to the risk posed by asymptomatic transmission, medical exceptions will only be granted under extraordinary circumstances. If someone believes they have such a circumstance, they can contact us in advance, or discuss it with a representative at the airport.

Southwest and American Airlines will also put similar mandatory mask policies in place next week.

Both airlines tell me they will no longer allow medical or disability exemptions to wearing mask due to the safety risk of asymptomatic COVID-19 transmission.

They stated that if a customer cannot wear a mask, they won’t be allowed to travel.

The only exception to the airline mask policies is children less than two years old.

Southwest says their extended mask policy goes into effect on July 27, and American Airlines goes into effect on July 29.

Duval County already has a mandatory mask policy in place, which is why passengers see signs posted all around Jacksonville International Airport.