Home Airlines Delta, Alaska Pilots, FAs Provoking Mask-Wearing Passengers

Delta, Alaska Pilots, FAs Provoking Mask-Wearing Passengers

by SharonKurheg

When wearing a mask on a plane was law, there was no questioning it. With extremely rare exceptions, there was no choice – if you were age 2 or over, either you wore a mask correctly, or you couldn’t fly. Adults who tried to fight the law while in the air sometimes found themselves meeting police at their final destination, on a “no-fly” list, and/or with a hefty fine from the federal government, if the level of their refusal warranted such intervention.

The law has been struck down, which means people don’t have to wear masks if they don’t want to. However, it doesn’t mean that those who choose to wear a mask can’t. Anyone who still wants to wear one, for whatever their reasoning, is, of course, allowed to.

Unfortunately, some commercial airline pilots are taking the opportunity to, essentially, “own the libs” and rub their noses in the fact that masks are no longer required.

In a since-deleted Tweet, on April 20th,  Jonathan Evans reported what he says he experienced on an Alaska Airlines flight between MCO and SEA.

Meanwhile, a medical doctor took to Twitter, to share what a Delta pilot allegedly told him:

Dr. Adams is the former U.S. Surgeon General.

A passenger on one of the legacy airlines also reported on their Facebook account that their pilot made an announcement which included something to the effect of, “…and as you’re aware, the mask mandate was struck down because it was unconstitutional and infringed on our rights…

Sounds like the Southwest pilot who got into hot water for announcing “Let’s go, Brandon!” on his flight’s PA late last year.

Meanwhile, another Delta passenger posted what the flight attendants on their flight did the other day:

Another flight attendant, this one from JetBlue, walked up the aisle, singing for passengers to throw away their masks:

I have several friends who are FAs and am well aware that many of them are thrilled about the mask mandate being repealed. However for them, it’s not as much about no longer having to wear a “face diaper,” or their “rights being infringed upon” as much as the simplicity of their own safety. Flight attendants had to turn into “mask police,” which I know is not what they signed up for. Nor was the increased risk of their being cursed out or beat up because of having to enforce rules that some people felt was so abhorrent that they would act out against these enforcers.

But “no more masks” on planes is not a cause for celebration for a whole lot of people. Kids under 5 (6% of the U.S. population) can’t be vaccinated against COVID yet. Babies under 2 can’t wear masks. People who are living with cancer (5%), weakened immune systems (nearly 3%), who are older (16.5%), or who have a host of underlying health conditions (some of which are very prevalent in the U.S. – cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, smokers, severe obesity, etc.) all have an increased risk of severe COVID, even if they’re vaccinated. Anyone who gets COVID, even a mild case, can still wind up with long COVID. And on top of all of that, a poll by the Associated Press found that more than half in the U.S. favored requiring people on planes, trains and public transportation to wear masks.

So champagne? Singing about throwing your mask into a trash bag? “Take your mask off [and] breathe free?” “…it was unconstitutional and infringed on our rights…” A pilot chiding mask wearers? Unprofessional and inappropriate.

To their credit, Alaska Airlines did reach out to Evans in response to his post:

Evans said the airline did contact him and said they would investigate but they wouldn’t be able to share the results with him.

Obviously, these kinds of behaviors don’t happen on all flights. In fact, some airlines (or at least some flights) appear to be proactive in keeping everyone – pilots, flight attendants and passengers – on an even keel regarding mask use since the mandate was knocked down. Case in point, on both of the Southwest flights Joe and I took last week, the pre-flight announcement included that if any passenger was making others not feel welcome, to tell a flight attendant – which I thought was a thoughtful way to handle any potential problems.

That approach seems to be the most appropriate – no big announcement about the joys of not wearing masks, but acknowledging and giving respect to those who prefer to wear them.

That’s how it should be, shouldn’t it?

Feature Photo: www.vperemen.com, License CC-BY-SA.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

6 comments

khatl April 25, 2022 - 5:14 pm

well said

Reply
derek April 25, 2022 - 8:07 pm

That is bullying but not quite lynching when pilots harass those wearing masks. Those wearing masks are doing the right thing. Yes, we know that sex without a condom may feel better.

Reply
Iolaire McFadden April 25, 2022 - 8:24 pm

Thanks for the post. Those people are their for our safety and can be happy the mandate is gone for now but they should not be trying to promote someone from following basic safety protocols.

Reply
DC not in DC April 26, 2022 - 3:27 pm

I had 4 flights last week, all post-mask-mandate.

There was nothing but mutual respect and kindness among all, whether masked or unmasked.

Reply
SharonKurheg April 26, 2022 - 4:34 pm

Oh, of course. I’m not trying to say it happens on every flight – just as anti-maskers didn’t disrupt every flight. But events still happened.

Reply
COPD April 26, 2022 - 8:05 pm

And this is why I will not be flying again until the pandemic is under control or the mask mandate is reinstated. I do feel sympathy for the flight attendants–most of them didn’t sign on to their jobs in order to be bouncers–but I cannot and will not take the risk. I’m glad many airlines upgraded their ventilation systems, but that step, while necessary and long-called for, is insufficient.

Reply

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