In a new flying etiquette, JetBlue Airways has become the first US airline to make it mandatory for the passengers to wear face protective masks on the planes during the coronavirus pandemic. The New York-based airline announced in an official statement on the website that in accordance with the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, the airlines requires all passengers and the staff aboard to “mandatorily” wear masks, effective May 4, during check-in, to boarding, in-flight and deplaning. Although, with an advisory in –place since April 18, the American airlines hadn’t made it into their policy for flyers to cover the face.
JetBlue's president and chief operating officer, Joanna Geraghty said, onboard, cabin air is well circulated and cleaned through filters every few minutes, however, a plane is a shared space where on has to be considerate of others. Therefore, “wearing a face-covering isn’t about protecting yourself it’s about protecting those around you,” he said. “This is the new flying etiquette. We are also asking our customers to follow these CDC guidelines in the airport as well.”
With Canada ahead in safety compliance, the US leading airlines like American Airlines and Delta Air Lines were due to make masks sanitizing wipes a policy while on duty next month, June 30, as per US media reports. Delta was reported as saying that it would nearly be “impossible to follow safety protocols” onboard planes such as to get the passengers to keep a distance of six feet apart between themselves and a customer or another employee. Therefore, the airline was considering to make masks a priority starting April 28.
The international president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, Sara Nelson, lauded the JetBlue's face mask policy addition and renewed her call for DOT and HHS to issue adherence to all US airlines for the passenger safety protocol, according to reports. She stressed that the airlines must follow JetBlue’s lead. JetBlue’s lead. The airlines wrote in the statement, “Customers will be reminded of this requirement before their flight via email and at the airport by both terminal signage and announcements. Small children who are not able to maintain a face covering are exempt from this requirement.”