Federal Mask Mandate Enforcement Extended

April 30, 2021 — Good news! The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) continue to back us up on the plane with mask mandate enforcement and zero tolerance for failure to comply or interfere with our duties.

Moments ago, TSA announced it is extending the mask enforcement directive to September 13, 2021. Earlier this month, our union called for the directive to be extended in a letter to TSA Administrator Pekoske and AFA President Sara Nelson testified on the issue before the Senate Subcommittee Subcommittee on Aviation Safety, Operations, and Innovation.

We’ve made tremendous efforts to get the pandemic under control, but we’re not quite there yet and masks provide a layer of safety that is necessary in enclosed spaces even when individuals are vaccinated. We need confidence in safety from the traveling public and the rest of the world. Continuing the TSA enforcement directive for the CDC transportation mask mandate will keep passengers and aviation workers safe. 

Scientists have made clear that masks are the best way to stop the spread of COVID-19 when in enclosed spaces like the plane or the airport—regardless of vaccination. Mask compliance is key to confidence in air travel as we climb towards recovery, which includes international travel. Confidence in the safety of U.S. aviation is critical for Americans to enjoy the freedom to fly around the world and to support good jobs in our communities at home. We also have a responsibility to make sure aviation isn’t contributing to the spread of the virus or any variants.

"Leadership is everything. We applaud Administrator Pekoske and the Biden Administration for taking action that ensures we can build back better," said AFA President Sara Nelson. 

This will also extend the FAA's Zero Tolerance policy for unruly passengers—which has been very important for us to have federal backup when incidents happen onboard. 

P.S. Have you gotten the vaccine? Fill out the Flight Attendant Vaccine Status Survey.

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