American Airlines working to give customers face masks, sanitizer
American Airlines flight at Barbados' Grantley Adams International Airport at sunset on November 15, 2019.
Customers flying with American Airlines have less than two weeks to adjust to the new face-covering or face mask policy being rolled out soon.
"American Airlines will soon require all customers travelling to wear a face-covering while onboard the aircraft starting May 11." The announcement came yesterday (April 30).
This new requirement is part of the airline’s ongoing commitment to prioritizing customer and team member well-being in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
"The American Airlines team continues to prioritize the safety of our customers and team members, and requiring a face-covering is one more way we can protect those on our aircraft," said Senior Vice President of Customer Experience, Kurt Stache.
In what may be an unprecedented move seeing as not many airlines have already announced their mask policy, American Airlines is looking into providing the masks for travellers.
"We ask customers to bring their own masks or face coverings they’re comfortable with when they travel. American is working to procure face masks and hand sanitizer as a supplement." American will begin the process of distributing sanitizing wipes and face coverings to customers. This offering will expand to all flights as supplies and operational conditions allow.
The press released also shared that earlier this week American announced that face coverings will be required for flight attendants during every mainline and regional flight beginning today, May 1.
American Airlines has also cautioned its customers to expect mask requirements in some locations. "Face coverings may also be required by local jurisdictions."
AA promising clean cabin air, surfaces
The face masks are not the only safety policy change being implemented. Noting that the changes to date and those effective May 11 "continue to build on American’s commitment to customer and team member safety. American’s cleaning practices have always met or exceeded all guidelines set by the CDC. All American Airlines mainline aircraft and most of its regional aircraft are equipped with High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters. In addition, the cabin air in all American aircraft is changed approximately 15 to 30 times per hour, or once every two to four minutes, similar to the standard for hospitals.
"At the airport, American has expanded the frequency of cleaning the areas under its control including gate areas, ticket counters, passenger service counters, baggage service offices and team member rooms. American is also using stanchions to encourage social distancing at gates and ticket counters."
3 facts about face masks and AA:
AA's release stated that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the use of a simple face-covering slows the spread of the virus and helps people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others.
- Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials can be used as a public health measure.
- A face covering will be required by each passenger while onboard an American flight.
- Very young passengers and those with conditions that prevent them from wearing a face-covering will be exempt from the requirement.