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What type of masks are you seeing on flights?

I just checked out Delta regarding masks and found this list:

Permitted Masks:
Disposable surgical or medical masks
Cloth masks with tightly woven fabric (2 or 3 ply masks are recommended)
Valve-free respirator masks (N95 or KN95)
Fabric masks with a clear plastic window

Gaiters with two layers (single layer gaiters should be doubled over)
Plastic face shields or goggles may be worn in addition to a mask but are not approved mask replacements

I was surprised to see cloth masks and gaiters on the permitted list. I'm curious to know what to expect to see when I board the plane in two weeks.

Posted by
8504 posts

Expect to see every possible strange combination of masks and mask wearing possible. Some people will purposefully nurse a drink for hours so that they can claim they are "eating or drinking." Some people will act completely responsibly. In short you will see a cross section of America.

There is nothing that your can do about the others so the best thing you can focus on is wearing a high grade mask correctly, cleaning your seating area as you sit down, and using hand sanitizer.

Posted by
6445 posts

United requires N95 or equivalent
No others are acceptable

For your own safety, wear an N95

Posted by
362 posts

We flew a few weeks ago DTW to AMS to LIS, and back from OPO to AMS to DTW. Most were wearing N95, K95 or medical masks. A few cloth, but not many.

Posted by
242 posts

No US airline, including United, requires N95 mask unless that is a requirement of the foreign destination. I have worn cloth masks on several flights. Looking forward to end of mask and test mandates. Of course, everyone on board can mask up if and as desired.

Posted by
8202 posts

I feel safer with the N95. But they're downright hot on an airplane.

You'll see just about any kind of mask wherever you go.

Posted by
638 posts

Just flew 4 different flights with Delta earlier this month. Expect to see many types of face coverings. In general everyone was covered. One staff member wore her mask below the nose. There were no issues.

Posted by
6445 posts

James- was this an international or domestic flight? to where?

I flew United a few days ago. There was no K95 requirement and mask
wearing enforcement was much less aggressive in the past. Additional
requirements

I fly 4/23 to Italy- this is what my check in info states:

The Italian Government requires all passengers to wear a N95/FFP2 mask on all modes of transportation, including airplanes. You will be required to wear a N95/FFP2 mask while onboard your flight to/from Italy and the U.S. Passengers will be responsible for bringing their own masks and United will not be providing masks to those who do not have the appropriate mask for travel.

One staff member wore her mask below the nose. There were no issues.

Actually that is an issue, but whatever.

Posted by
1293 posts

Lufthansa requires a surgical mask (provides one for those who don't have one) or N95. type. It is enforced. One lady made it on the plane with a cloth mask (or maybe changed it after boarding as they were watching pretty carefully.) An attendant brought her a surgical mask.

Posted by
106 posts

I flew domestically last week on United and wore a cloth, home-made mask. No one connected with the airline said anything about it. There were every kind of mask imaginable on both flights.

Posted by
418 posts

I flew AMS to IAH on Tuesday the 12th. Everyone was masked. Some were N95, some were KN95 some were fabric. The thing that drove me crazy is that you had to have a negative Covid test in the last 24 hours to fly in to the United States, so why were we required to wear a mask at all? That doesn’t make sense. It should be voluntary.

Posted by
14157 posts

I flew Delta Tuesday from Spokane to Seattle then SEA to CDG. Most wore surgical masks, I wore an N95 the whole time. The FAs asked people to take a bite or sip during food service and replace their masks.

They did remind passengers that a negative Covid test would be needed to board a return flight to the US.

Posted by
326 posts

I flew domestic United on April 6. While the majority had masks, significant numbers did not or had it below their nose or hanging off an ear. Both in the boarding area and on the flights.

Boise to San Francisco, to Monterey. United announced masks required, but did not enforce at all. On the fight to SFO, from my seat I could see four faces easily. One never put her mask over her face, two had lt below their nose, one wore a mask. Attendents just walked past without comment.

Posted by
135 posts

I just flew United and saw all manner of mask on the plane. They do not require an N 95. The only thing they don’t allow are valve masks, and if you use a face shield you have to have a mask. I wore an N 95 on my way out just to be extra careful, and a KF 94 on the way home for comfort.

Posted by
267 posts

Just returned from Italy. On flights there was a definite mixture of masks, both Surgical and N-95/KN95 types flying on Delta.

We boarded with a N-95 but changed to surgical type 3 masks during the flight. Delta flight attendants were constantly reminding some people to pull up their mask.

Our return was on KLM, again a mixture of masks, but almost positive the crew on the 777 was wearing surgical mask - as did we after boarding. Some enforcement by attendants, but generally pssengers were compliant.

Keep it simple.

Posted by
140 posts

Like others have mentioned, we’ve seen the full range on flights (LAX to LGA, MIA, and NAS). Masking was enforced fairly consistently on those flights (American and Southwest) although some people had to be reminded multiple times, and would remove again as soon as the FA walked away.

We generally wear cloth masks that I make. But I make them with two layers of silk (natural electrostatic properties that help attract and trap) as well as an interior 16 MERV filter fabric that is washable. I custom fit them for each member of the family, so they fit more snugly than most commercially made masks. On flights, we have opted to double mask with an N95 and the cloth mask. So far, knock on wood, none of us has gotten covid (that we know of). We have purchased a supply of the European rated masks (can’t remember the rating code) for our upcoming trip so that we can be in compliance as needed.

Posted by
1858 posts

I recently flew a domestic AA flight across country. My tightly woven cloth mask with a removable filter was never questioned. It is also very comfortable. I did notice several folks not covering their noses with their masks and the poor flight attendants constantly having to tell them to pull it up. BTW, if you are curious as to how the different type of masks vary in protection AARP published a study about 2 months ago.
UPDATE: If anyone wants to know where I buy my comfortable masks send me a PM. I don't like to advertise for vendors on the forum. I went to the website and they will no longer be selling after APRIL 22......maybe a sign folks aren't wearing masks much anymore?

Posted by
7648 posts

ChristineH:

The Italian Government requires

I think this part of the statement explains the disparity you are seeing. For an international flight, the airline has to meet the stricter of either countries requirements. Since Italy requires FFP2/KN95/N95 masks, they are required for the flight...or at least according to United.

Of course, when I flew back from Italy on Delta in September, I do not recall a requirement, though internally FFP2 masks were required in some places and on some transport.

Posted by
642 posts

We generally wear cloth masks that I make. But I make them with two layers of silk (natural electrostatic properties that help attract and trap) as well as an interior 16 MERV filter fabric that is washable. I custom fit them for each member of the family, so they fit more snugly than most commercially made masks. On flights, we have opted to double mask with an N95 and the cloth mask.

You are talking my language! I sewed hundreds of masks, mostly pleated, for donations, but for my family, I worked hard to customize them to the individual. I made at least 12 different patterns and settled on the batwing for me and my daughter who teaches special ed. I have our KN95s and surgical masks for when we need them, but I will also be bringing my great fitting, comfortable cloth masks to wear under my KN95s and maybe alone, at times.

I have custom fitted my KN95s by trimming the edges a bit, cutting and adding more elastic and adjusters to the ear loops, and adding a larger loop of elastic so I can remove the mask and it will hang around my neck.

Thank you for all the responses. I live in a rural area of Minnesota where, except for medical facilities, mask wearing has become almost non-existent, so I really wasn't sure what to expect to see when traveling.