American Airlines is updating its existing mask requirement to align with directives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Transportation Security Administration, in accordance with a White House executive order regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) safety during travel.
Beginning today, the U.S. government will mandate that masks be worn during travel on public transportation, including on aircraft and in airports.
“Our mask requirement has been and will continue to be a critical component of our comprehensive effort to protect the health and well-being of our customers and team members during the pandemic,” said David Seymour, Chief Operating Officer at American.
“This federal mandate will provide additional support to our crew members who are working diligently to enforce our policy and further reinforce the safety of air travel during COVID-19.”
As before, customers are required to wear masks for the duration of their journey, including at the airport and on board the aircraft. Children under the age of two will continue to be exempt from the mask requirement.
Beginning Feb. 2, 2021, American will ask customers with disabilities who are unable to wear a mask to notify the airline’s Special Assistance team at least 72 hours prior to departure to request an exemption from the requirement. Exemptions will require documentation from a licensed health care provider, as well as proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three calendar days of departure or proof of recovery from COVID-19. Additionally, American will update its guidelines for acceptable mask types to prohibit bandanas and gaiters.
Consistent with U.S. government directives, individuals who refuse to wear a mask may be denied boarding, removed from the aircraft or subject to penalties under federal law, in addition to being barred from future travel with American.
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