- The Washington Times - Monday, April 18, 2022

Within hours of a court ruling that the federal bureaucracy had overreached in its mask mandate on public transportation, America’s biggest airlines all had ended their rules.

The social media accounts of Delta, United, American and Alaska all had announced before 9 p.m. EDT Monday that masks were now optional on all their domestic flights.

“Masks are no longer required on domestic flights, select international flights (dependent upon the arrival country’s requirements) or at U.S. airports. More comfortable keeping yours on? Go right ahead … the choice is yours (you look dino-mite either way)!” United wrote during the 7 p.m. hour.

Alaska Airlines already had announced that “BREAKING: Face masks are officially optional in airports and onboard all Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air flights, effective immediately” and posted a link to a statement on its site.

While Southwest’s social-media accounts and website had no official statement, a video posted on Twitter from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport showed an employee announcing at the gate that the airline would no longer require masks, to some scattered applause.

Like United, American Airlines cautioned that “face masks may still be required based on local ordinances, or when traveling to/from certain international locations.”

In its statement, Delta Air Lines cautioned its passengers to be understanding and avoid confrontations.

“Given the unexpected nature of this announcement, please be aware that customers, airline employees and federal agency employees, such as TSA, may be receiving this information at different times. You may experience inconsistent enforcement during the next 24 hours as this news is more broadly communicated – remember to show understanding and patience with others who may not be aware enforcement is no longer required,” Delta wrote.

For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.

• Victor Morton can be reached at vmorton@washingtontimes.com.

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