Airlines drop mask mandate after federal judge’s ruling

April 19, 2022


In the aftermath of a federal judge striking down the Biden Administration’s mask mandate for air travel and other public transport, major U.S. airlines have announced they will no longer require masks on domestic flights.

On Monday, District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle ruled in U.S. District Court in Florida that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) exceeded its authority in adopting a regulation mandating masks nationwide at airports, train stations and other transportation hubs, as well as on airplanes, trains and buses. The CDC also failed to provide adequate justification for the mask mandate, Mizelle found.

Following Mizelle’s ruling, airlines, including United, American, Delta and Alaska, released statements saying they would no longer require their employees and customers to wear masks on domestic flights, but rather mask wearing would be optional.

“Masks are no longer required on domestic flights, select international flights (dependent upon the arrival country’s requirements) or at U.S. airports. More comfortable keeping yours on? Go right ahead,” United Airlines stated in a tweet.

Alaska Airlines noted in a statement that, though masks will now be optional on its flights, some individuals will remain banned from flying with the carrier because of their conduct related to the mask mandate when it was in effect.

“Throughout the last two years, we have relied on reporting from agents and flight attendants to ban noncompliant guests from traveling while the federal mask policy remained in effect,” Alaska Airlines said in the statement. “Based on our reports, we will have some guests whose behavior was particularly egregious who will remain banned, even after the mask policy is rescinded.”

Amtrak similarly announced it will no longer require masks onboard trains and in stations, but it still encourages mask wearing.

“While Amtrak passengers and employees are no longer required to wear masks while onboard trains or in stations, masks are welcome and remain an important preventative measure against COVID-19,” Amtrak stated in a tweet. “Anyone needing or choosing to wear one is encouraged to do so.”

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Here we go again. Breakin’ out a new N95 as of today. Dummies.

A smile goes a long way. Maybe the intent of the mask was to void public displays of the truth.

Feel free to wear your mask if you want. You have free will here. Stop the misinformation on the masking decision. You can still wear one, two, three, ten. Enjoy it.

The ruling, if it stands under appeals, DOES NOT BAN MASK WEARING, it makes it optional. Additionally, the extension was only for a few more weeks anyway. All of this angst and derision…for what. Think this kerfuffle by some is not about the mask wearing.

You would think a reporter would do some research and report on the actual controversy instead of cutting and pasting some press releases.

“Mizelle, who compared the mask mandate in her ruling to forcible “detention and quarantine,” was appointed by Trump in 2020. The spouse of Chad Mizelle, the former general counsel to Trump’s Homeland Security department, had only participated in two trials before her appointment, both of which came while she was in law school. Her inexperience led to a “Not Qualified” rating from a majority at the ABA in the fall of 2020. But her ties to the conservative legal world—she clerked for Clarence Thomas—earned her the support of Republicans, who confirmed the then-33-year-old in a party line vote days after Trump’s reelection loss and two months before Joe Biden’s inauguration. Jones Day, the firm Mizelle worked for before ascending to her lifetime appointment, was the biggest firm representing Trump in his efforts to undermine the 2020 results.”

Again: “had only participated in two trials in law school before her lifetime appointment”

This is one of the activist judges everyone has been complaining about.

Finally, we have a choice to wear or not to wear the mask on a plane. I understand if you don’t feel comfortable taking the mask off. Go ahead and wear it, I respect your decision. Please respect my decision for taking it off..

“Follow the science”