Wednesday, 29 April 2020

If you want to fly with JetBlue you'll need a mask.....

        The hometown airline of New York JetBlue has said this week that if you want to fly with them, you'll need a face mask of some sort.

The airline says that from May 4th all customers will be required to wear face-covering during travel, regardless of their own personal choice.

The policy comes after the airline began requiring all crewmembers to wear face coverings while working. JetBlue says it has decided on the demand after the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines say that people should wear a face-covering in public. 

“Wearing a face covering isn’t about protecting yourself it’s about protecting those around you,” said Joanna Geraghty, president, and chief operating officer, JetBlue. “This is the new flying etiquette. Onboard, cabin air is well circulated and cleaned through filters every few minutes but this is a shared space where we have to be considerate of others. We are also asking our customers to follow these CDC guidelines in the airport as well.”

Many people are skeptical of the effectiveness of the demand, face masks will have to be removed to go through security checks. People will need to move the mask in order to be able to drink or eat on the aircraft and could hamper breathing in the case of an emergency.  Equally, almost all surgical style masks are not fire-retardant and indeed some are very flammable, which could present an extra danger in the unlikely event of an aircraft fire. There is also concern in some quarters that is passengers rush to buy masks of the medical kind, it could leave supplies worryingly short for medical professionals on the front line.    

This new policy from JetBlue means customers will have to wear a face-covering over their nose and mouth throughout their journey, including during check-in, boarding, while in flight and deplaning. Small children are exempt from this requirement.

JetBlue has, since late March, limited the number of seats available for sale on most flights, allowing the airline to provide the middle seat free for passengers not traveling together. Before each flight, JetBlue reviews seat assignments to ensure as much personal space as possible, but will not guarantee that additional space.  However,  it will keep rows near crewmember jump seats empty. 

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