Updated May 1, 2020 - Economy & Business

More U.S. airlines require passengers to wear face masks on flights

In this image, a man wears a gas mask while sitting on a plane

A man wears a gas mask on a flight from Miami to Atlanta on April 23. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

American Airlines and Delta Airlines announced on Thursday that passengers will be required to wear face masks on their flights starting in early May, joining Jet Blue and Frontier Airlines.

The big picture: Flight attendant unions have been pressuring the federal government to mandate face masks on planes, Politico reports. Employees at American and Delta were already required to wear masks.

What's next: American Airlines customers will be required to wear face masks beginning on May 11, while Delta will begin enforcing their policy for customers on May 4.

  • Delta's guidelines call for customers to wear masks at Delta Sky Clubs, board gate zones, jet bridges and during their flight, whereas American Airlines is only mandating that customers wear masks on flights.
  • American says it will give face masks and sanitizing wipes to customers. Delta did not specify if it would make masks available.
  • United Airlines is "strongly" encouraging customers to wear face masks and will provide them starting on May 4.

Between the lines: Passengers will not be allowed on airplanes if they are not wearing face masks, Delta spokesperson Michael Thomas told Axios in a statement. He said that masks would be provided for any customers who do not have a face covering.

  • American Airlines said they would give more guidance before the rule goes into place in May.

American Airlines and United Airlines reported first quarter net losses of $2.2 billion and and $1.7 billion on Thursday, as the industry reels from dwindling air travel.

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