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American Airlines no longer enforcing mask mandates at U.S. airports

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Published: Apr. 18, 2022 at 10:04 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - American Airlines has announced that it will no longer be enforcing the federal face mask mandate for customers and team members at U.S. airports and on domestic flights.

This announcement comes after the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) stopped enforcing a national mask mandate following a federal judge’s decision.

A judge’s decision freed airlines, airports and mass transit systems to make their own decisions about mask requirements, resulting in a mix of responses.

Masks may still be required based on local ordinances or when traveling to/from certain international locations based on country requirements.

Everyone who travels or works with American Airlines will be able to wear masks if they choose so.

“We are deeply grateful to our team members for their enforcement of the mandate and will share more information about this transition in the coming days,” AA said in a statement.

American Airlines is based in Charlotte.

WBTV spoke to several travelers about masking in airports and on planes.

Bill Beatty, a traveler from Augusta, Georgia, said he was in agreement with the TSA’s decision to stop enforcing the mask mandate.

“I think it’s right. I think it’s the right time. I think they held on to it probably for the right amount of time as well – all those people crammed into the small spot,” explained Beatty.

While he was okay with the TSA’s decision to stop enforcement, Beatty said he’d probably still wear a mask on flights.

“I’ve been on the cautious side of this whole program for a couple of years so no reason to jump out of it,” said Beatty.

Others said they’d probably stop wearing a mask on flights now that enforcement is stopping.

“No, because I’ve been vaccinated and boosted so I’m not too worried about it,” one traveler said.

There is still signage posted on the walls of the airport terminals encouraging travelers to wear a face covering in the airport. It is unclear how long the signage will be posted.

When WBTV reached out to Charlotte Douglas International Airport for comment about masking requirements inside the building, the airport referred us to the TSA for comment.

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