Biden’s mandatory mask rule backed by US airlines

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President-elect Joe Biden’s plan to mandate masks for air travelers was supported by Airlines for America, a trade association representing major United States airlines.

Already in October 2020, Joe Biden said he would mandate facial covers for all inter-state passengers and since the election, he reiterated that plan. Airlines for America supported the decision but asked to be given some flexibility.

On January 14, 2021, in a letter to Biden, the airline group asked to “allow air carriers to maintain their existing policies and practices which are aimed at de-escalating conflict in-flight and allowing the aircraft to continue while providing a consequential enforcement backstop on the ground.”

Trade association asked to apply the rules to all modes of public transport and to “require all passengers 2 years and older to wear a mask, without exception.”

The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA), which represents around 50,000 cabin crew members at more than a dozen US airlines, has been asking for a mandatory mask law since early in the pandemic. A single standard for masks across the country would support flight attendants and other airline workers who have to deal with non-compliant passengers.

In preparation for possible unrest ahead of US elect-president’s Joe Biden’s inauguration, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) warned air travelers of jail time and fines. The FAA also signed a stricter legal enforcement policy on January 13, 2021.

American Airlines (A1G) (AAL), United Airlines and Frontier Airlines also took additional precautionary measures, including the fact that the airlines “will not permit the transport of firearms in checked bags on flights into D.C. area airports (BWI, DCA and IAD) from January 16 through January 23, 2021.”


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