Home Travel How Some Airports Are Ensuring People Wear Masks

How Some Airports Are Ensuring People Wear Masks

by SharonKurheg

The airlines have finally gotten their act together and are requiring passengers to wear masks at the gate, on the jetway and in the plane. Even better, there are consequences if someone refuses to wear one. HOORAY for enforcement!

Unfortunately, for quite some time, although you had to wear a mask in those three areas, you didn’t necessarily have to wear one outside the terminal area. Some airport required masks very early on but others took their time in making this mandatory, instead of just “recommending” it.

It was a long time coming, but with MSP Minneapolis-St. Paul International starting on July 27th and BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport beginning on July 31st, the 25 busiest airports in the U.S. all finally require mask use for employees and passengers while inside the respective airport buildings.

Now to enforce it. Which, as we all know, is easier said than done.

FUN FACT! TSA officers aren’t allowed to remind people to wear their masks or to wear them correctly when they’re at the TSA security checkpoint. Not even when they’re practically face to face during a pat down. Why? Because the TSA is a federal entity and there’s no mandate from the federal government that masks must be worn. Isn’t that special? True, TSA workers are finally being issued PPE and other forms of protection (although it took a whistleblower to make it happen), but that only protects who they come in contact with. Our wearing masks protects those around us, including TSA workers. But although some do anyway, they’re technically not allowed to ask you to wear your mask, or wear it correctly, even if you’re practically face to face.

But back to airports…

Many airports are reminding passengers about their requirements about social distancing and to wear masks via their websites and social media, signage at the airport, and over their intercoms. But that doesn’t always work. So a few airports are utilizing employees to help passengers with these aspects of the new normal.

Houston Bush Airport

Houston Bush Airport has Passenger Care Kits/Masks available for the taking.

Los Angeles International Airport

LAX has what they’re calling Travel Safely Ambassadors. You can find them at Terminal 1 and at the Tom Bradley International Terminal. They’re easy to find because of the “Travel Safely” pin they wear. Travel Safely Ambassadors will remind passengers to wear their masks the right way, and they have new masks they can give people if they don’t have their own.

San Francisco International Airport

SFO has Travel Well Ambassadors who are reminding people to socially distance and to wear their masks correctly. They’ll even give people masks for free, if needed.

Tampa International Airport

TPA is giving out masks to anyone who needs one.

Other airports are doing their own part – airports’ social media pages are chock full of reminders, as well. I particularly like the Twitter feeds for JFK, LGA and EWR, all 3 of which have changed their handles to, respectively, Kennedy Airport. Wear A Face Covering, LaGuardia Airport. Wear A Face Covering, and Newark Liberty Airport. Wear A Face Covering.

Nobody likes to wear a mask and it’s unfortunate that wearing one has become a political agenda for some. Just like people eventually got used to having to wear a seat belt in a car, or smoking outside a restaurant, masks will, I’m sure, eventually become accepted (perhaps begrudgingly for some) as an everyday part of life, at least for a few years. Until then, kudos to the airports that are going the extra mile to ensure their passengers remain masked!

Featured Photo: Pexels/Anna Shvets

#stayhealthy #staysafe #washyourhands #wearamask

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


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