Delta, American Airlines to mandate face coverings during US flights

Delta, American Airlines to mandate face coverings during US flights
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Delta and American Airlines are joining JetBlue in requiring passengers to wear face coverings on their planes. 

JetBlue and Delta’s new rules begin May 4 and American Airlines’ start May 11. Frontier, one of the smaller domestic airlines, will begin requiring face masks on their flights on May 8. 

The change comes as flight attendants and lawmakers have called for increased protections on flights amid the pandemic, which has left airlines with unprecedented losses in revenue. 

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Last week United Airlines made face masks mandatory for flight attendants and began provided optional face masks for passengers. The flight attendants union asked the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to require them of passengers, too. 

"We encourage all passengers to voluntarily wear a face covering while traveling,” the Association of Flight Attendants said in a statement. “We continue to call on DOT and HHS to mandate masks for all crew, employees and passengers in airports and on airplanes.”

Rep. Peter DeFazioPeter Anthony DeFazioShould the United States withdraw from the WTO? OVERNIGHT ENERGY: House approves .5T green infrastructure plan | Rubio looks to defense bill to block offshore drilling, but some fear it creates a loophole | DC-area lawmakers push for analysis before federal agencies can be relocated Republicans score procedural victory on Democrats' infrastructure bill MORE (D-Oregon), who chairs the House Transportation Committee, on Wednesday called on the Federal Aviation Association to “require masks or other face coverings for all crewmembers and passengers on U.S. flights” and to require airlines “adopt reasonable, sound procedures for ensuring that passengers are spaced at safe distances from one another.”

On Thursday Rep. Bobby RushBobby Lee RushFauci: Institutional racism playing role in disproportionate coronavirus impact on Black community Bobby Rush likens Chicago police union to KKK: 'Racist body of criminal lawlessness' Rep. Bobby Rush says Chicago officers lounged in his office as nearby stores were looted MORE (D-Ill.) led a group of over 80 members of Congress in calling for the DOT and DHS to provide protective gear to all transportation employees. 

“If we are going to weather the COVID-19 storm, we must ensure that no employee is penalized or endangered while continuing to perform their essential job duties during this global pandemic,” Rush said in a statement.