On Tuesday, August 17, 2021, the Biden administration extended the COVID-19 transport mask mandate. This mandate requires travelers to wear masks on airplanes, trains, and buses — and inside airports and train stations until January 18, 2022.
However, not any mask lying about your house will do. According to Travel and Leisure, air travelers need to be vigilant as not every airline allows every type of mask on their aircrafts.
If you plan to fly anytime soon, here are some tips on which masks are allowed and what masks are prohibited.
- Delta Air Lines: Passengers on Delta are permitted to wear disposable surgical masks, valve-free respirator masks (N95 or KN95), gaiters with two layers, and cloth masks with “tightly woven fabric” or a clear plastic window. Masks with slits, punctures, or holes, as well as scarves, ski masks, bandanas, balaclavas, and masks with exhaust valves are prohibited.
- United Airlines: Travelers must wear a face mask that fully covers the mouth and nose with no vents or openings. Bandanas are prohibited. Travelers may wear a face shield in addition to their face masks, but not in place of one.
- Southwest Airlines: Travelers are permitted to wear face masks that completely cover their mouth and nose, but neck gaiters must have two layers to be worn. Bandanas, scarves, ski masks, balaclavas, and face masks that aren’t a solid material are prohibited.
- American Airlines: Travelers can wear masks that fit tightly around their face and cover the mouth and nose. Cloth masks should have two layers. Balaclavas, bandanas, face covers with exhaust valves or vents, masks made with mesh or lace type fabric, gaiters, scarves, and ski masks are prohibited.
- JetBlue Airlines: Travelers must wear masks that cover their mouth and nose and fit tightly around their face. Masks connected to tubing or battery-operated filters are prohibited. Masks with vents or exhalation valves are not permitted. Travelers may wear face shields in addition to their face masks, but not in place of one.
- Alaska Airlines: Two-layer, tightly woven cloth masks and gaiters, reusable and disposable masks are allowed on Alaska Airlines flights. Medical masks, N-95 respirators, masks with inner filter pockets, and clear masks are also acceptable. Face masks should not have slits, exhalation valves, or punctures and should fit snugly. Scarves, ski masks, balaclavas, sweater or shirt collars, and bandanas are prohibited. Travelers may wear a face shield in addition to their face masks, but not in place of one.
- Hawaiian Airlines: Travelers must wear face masks made of solid material that covers the mouth and nose and fits tightly around their face. If cloth masks or gaiters are worn, they should be two layers. Masks with vents, mesh, slits, exhalation valves, and punctures are prohibited. Scarves, ski masks, balaclavas, and bandanas are not allowed. Face shields cannot be worn instead of a face mask.
- Air Canada: Travelers on Air Canada must wear face masks made with protective layers of absorbent fabric (such as cotton) that fit tightly over the nose, mouth and chin. Prohibited items are non-medical masks with an exhalation valve or vent or made with mesh or lace fabric, neck gaiters, bandanas, and plastic face shields/coverings.
- LATAM Airlines: Travelers can only wear surgical, three-layers, or superior face masks (KN95, N95). Cloth and reusable face masks are not allowed.
- Finnair Airlines: Permitted masks are surgical masks, FFP2 or FFP3 respirator masks without a valve, or other valve-free masks with the same standard (N95).
- Air France: Permitted masks are surgical masks or an FFP1, FFP2, or FFP3 type mask, without an exhaust valve. Masks with exhaust valves and cloth masks are prohibited.
- Lufthansa: Permitted masks are FFP2-, KN95- or N95-standard masks, as well as surgical face masks.