Airline Face Masks Requirements
When the pandemic started and face masks were recommended as way to slow the spread, there ensued a shortage of surgical face mask. As such cloth face masks became a substitute. Most airlines adopted the rule that a face mask is required for travel.
But now, some airlines are no longer allowing passengers to fly using a cloth face mask. Also, most airlines does not allow those masks that comes with valves attached. Here’s a look at the airlines who have updated their policies: Note that these policies are constantly updated, so be sure and check the airline’s website before you travel every time.
As a reminder, here are the requirements of some U.S. airlines that have restrictions for cloth-type face coverings and masks with vents:
- allegiant airlines
- American Airlines
- Avelo Airlines
- Breeze Airways
- Delta Air Lines
- Frontier Airlines
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Southwest Airlines
- Sun Country Airlines
- United Airlines
Air France (AF)
Based in Paris-Charles de Gaulle with flights to many cities and also a member of SkyTeam alliance and a partner of Delta Air Lines, Air France no longer allow passengers to fly using a cloth face mask. Here is what their website says:
- It is mandatory to wear a surgical mask or an FFP1, FFP2 or FFP3 type mask, without an exhaust valve, on board (decree n°2020-663 of 31 May 2020)
- It is strongly recommended to wear your mask as soon as you arrive at the airport
- Cloth masks and masks with exhaust valves are not authorized.
Croatia Airlines (OU)
Based in Zagreb, Croatia and a member of the Star Alliance and a partner of United Airlines and Air Canada, Croatia Airlines does not fly to the U.S., just in Europe. Their web site says:
- Passengers are required to bring and wear medical face protective masks that fully cover nose and mouth aboard all Croatia Airlines flights.
- Acceptable protective masks include surgical masks and filtering half masks (FFP2, N95 or KN95 mask without valve).
- Face shields may not be worn as a substitute for mouth-nose covers on our flights.
- Children up to 6 years of age are exempt from wearing a face mask.
Based in Helsinki, Finland, Finnair is a member of the oneworld alliance with U.S. partner American Airlines (AA). Here’s what they say on their website:
The mask can be a surgical mask, a valveless FFP2 or FFP3 mask or another kind of valveless mask following the equivalent standards (N95). Please note that we do not accept masks made of fabric, face shields, masks with a valve or scarves used as a mask, as they allow air to escape and do not provide comparable protection.
LATAM Airlines (LA)
Chilean based LATAM Airlines, served destinations in South America, Europe as well as cities in the U.S. Here is what their website says:
- Effective July 15th, fabric-made and reusable face masks won’t be allowed in Chile for domestic flights.
- Passengers will only be allowed to board the aircraft with surgical, 3 layers or superior face masks (KN95, N95). For more information visit the Government site.
- All passengers connecting in Lima (even if they remain inside the aircraft) must wear at all times 2 face masks.
Based in Frankfurt, Germany, Lufthansa is a founding member of the Star Alliance with United Airlines and Air Canada as north American partners.
Here’s the information from a press release from their website:
Lufthansa Group airlines are introducing a requirement to wear a medical protective mask on their flights to and from Germany. The regulation comes into force on February 1. From that date, passengers will be required to wear either a surgical mask or an FFP2 mask or mask with the KN95/N95 standard during boarding, the flight and when leaving the aircraft. Everyday masks are then no longer permitted.
SWISS International Air Lines based in Zurich, Switzerland and a Star Alliance partner with United Airlines and Air Canada will no longer allow passengers to fly with a cloth mask. Here is the information from their website under the “Are masks compulsory for every passenger on board?” section:
- From 1 February 2021, on all flights facemasks of the FFP2, KN95, or N95 standard, as well as surgical masks, are obligatory when boarding, onboard, and when leaving the aircraft.
- Generally, the only exceptions to this rule are children under 12 years of age and persons who are not able to wear a mask for medical reasons.
- (NB: on flights to the USA, all passengers, including children over the age of two, are required to wear face masks.)