Major US airlines drop mask requirements

Posted at 10:36 AM, Apr 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-19 18:34:14-04

Major U.S. airlines are no longer requiring passengers to wear a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The changes followed a federal judge ruling that the nationwide mask mandate on public transportation was unlawful.

American Airlines, Delta, United, Southwest, Alaska, JetBlue and Frontier all announced masks are now optional.

However, some airlines warned that there may be cases where a mask is required.

"Please note face masks may still be required based on local ordinances, or when traveling to/from certain international locations based on country requirements," American Airlines said in a statement.

Locally, a Norfolk International Airport spokesperson said, "We are awaiting some final state and federal determinations; however, currently, the TSA is not enforcing the mask mandate at Norfolk International Airport. Masks are optional and are available near the information booth in the Departures Terminal lobby."

When News 3 went to Norfolk International on Tuesday, we saw a mix of people both wearing masks and going without them.

Traveler Jennifer Thomas said, “It feels liberating. [I'm] excited to travel and not have to keep a mask on the whole time and just enjoy our flight."

“I think it’s everybody’s choice. They can wear it or not, but ultimately everybody has to do what’s best for their health, and that’s what I’m doing - just protecting myself," another traveler, Myrna Padilla, said.

It wasn't just airlines that dropped their mask requirements on Monday. Amtrak also said masks are now optional for passengers and employees.