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Leading U.S. Airlines Begin Requiring Face Coverings for Customer-Facing Employees and Passengers

Today, Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, announced that its member passenger carriers will be voluntarily requiring that customer-facing employees and passengers wear a cloth face covering over their nose and mouth throughout the journey — during check-in, boarding, in-flight and deplaning. Carriers are working to implement this policy as quickly as possible.

The safety and wellbeing of all passengers is the top priority of U.S. airlines. The requirement to wear a cloth face covering during air travel is just one of the ways carriers are working to protect passengers and employees throughout this crisis.

The safety and wellbeing of all passengers is the top priority of U.S. airlines.
Passengers wait to disembark the plane on their arrival at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta, on April 23, 2020. – The US Treasury is providing aid to the airlines as part of the $2.2 trillion stimulus legislation approved last month, as the coronavirus pandemic hits the travel industry. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP) (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)

A4A’s member airlines all meet or exceed CDC guidance and have implemented intensive cleaning protocols, in some cases to include electrostatic cleaning and fogging procedures. Carriers are working around the clock to sanitize cockpits, cabins and key touchpoints — like tray tables, arm rests, seatbelts, buttons, vents, handles and lavatories — with CDC-approved disinfectants. More details are available here.

In addition to enhancing sanitation procedures, carriers have implemented a range of policies – such as back-to-front boarding and adjusting food and beverage services – to help ensure the well-being of passengers and crew. Additionally, all travelers are encouraged to follow CDC guidance, including frequent hand-washing and staying home when ill.

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