Maskless Flights: Reasonable or Ridiculous

By Hailey Abdilla

Following a judge’s ruling on the legality of the mask enforcement that struck down the mask mandate, multiple airlines have decided to no longer enforce the mask mandate on flights including Delta, American, and United. U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle ruled that the CDC’s mask mandate “exceeds the CDC’s statutory authority and violates the procedures required for agency rulemaking under the APA.” However, some are concerned about the lifting of the mandate due to the increase in covid infections, specifically the BA.2 omicron subvariant. Despite these concerns, a majority of airlines have already pushed to remove mask mandates, effective immediately. Of course, all passengers and employees are welcome to continue to wear masks in airports and on planes if they wish, they simply will no longer be enforced on domestic flights and will only be enforced on international flights if the country you’re flying to still has a mask mandate in place. While the specific policies vary by airline, the basics remain the same: passengers and employees will no longer have to wear masks. Essentially all airlines have jumped on the lifting of the mandate, including, but not limited to Southwest, Alaska, JetBlue, and Frontier. So what do you think, is the mask mandate being lifted a relief for travelers everywhere, or a mistake that will lead to a deadly spike in the spread of covid infections?