Coronavirus: Major airlines start requiring passengers to wear face masks on flights

Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and Jet Blue will start requiring passengers to wear masks starting Monday as the airline industry struggles to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.
Three major airliners are requiring passengers to start wearing masks on flights starting Monday.

Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and JetBlue will start requiring passengers to wear masks as the airline industry struggles to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic. American Airlines, Southwest Airlines and Spirit Airlines will make wearing masks mandatory on May 11.

Many airlines say if passengers forget to bring a mask, one will be provided.

Fears triggered by coronavirus is causing air travel to go down drastically across the country and costing the global industry billions of dollars.

Eduardo Benavides and his family arrived at the Burbank Airport Sunday evening after visiting his mother in Las Vegas. He said they took precautions, wearing masks, gloves and using hand sanitizer.

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"We took every precaution the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) is recommending," he said.

"I think that's probably a good policy to have," said traveler Joshua Canada. "I think a lot of people maybe aren't aware of how easily it spreads and I think that's best for the protection of the employees probably, and also anybody they'll be coming into contact with."

Other carriers are also expected to make wearing masks mandatory.

Safety concerns grew several days ago after video that surfaced online showed a packed American Airlines flight from New York to Charlotte, raising worries about physical distancing on planes.

All major U.S. airlines are disinfecting passenger cabins and have stopped booking all or most middle seats. Now they're hoping the mask requirement will convince travelers that it's safe to fly.

"Everyone just feels safer if you're wearing a mask," Canada said. "They know you're doing your best to protect them."
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