MIAMI – In response to a petition by Flyers Rights CEO Paul Hudson urging a rule mandating airlines and airport operators to institute mask-wearing requirements, the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) has refused to implement such requirements.

The refusal comes at a time when COVID-19 deaths across the United States have recently passed the 200,000 mark.

Spirit Airlines Aircraft and a Learjet taxiing at FLL Photo: © Max Taubman – @maximumaviation

A Denied Petition

In a reply to Paul Hudson, DOT General Counsel Steven Bradbury denied the petition, further stating that the “Department will continue to monitor relevant health and workplace guidelines issued by CDC and OSHA, and their incorporation by aviation transportation stakeholders, to help prevent the spread of [COVID-19] and maintain health in the air transportation system.”

General Counsel Bradbury also notes that “airlines and airport operators have adopted policies requiring face masks for passengers and Crew. All major US air carriers and most others require the use of face masks.”

Many airlines in the US and around the world are ensuring passenger safety in the midst of the pandemic with Delta Air Lines (DL) leading other major US airlines in permanently banning passengers who refuse to wear masks on its flights.

Airlines in the US are fulfilling a promise to keep their passengers safe by requiring masks. We should do our fair share to help the airline industry recover by wearing masks both in our everyday lives and while traveling via airlines and airports.

Featured image: United Airlines over NYC. Photo: © Tyler Lorenz