United, American Will Require Passengers to Wear Face Masks Throughout Airports

The new rule starts on July 24.

United Airlines and American Airlines expanded its face mask rule to include the airports where it operates.

For United, starting July 24, the new areas that now require face coverings include customer service counters, kiosks, lounges, gates, and baggage claim areas, passengers will be required to wear face coverings. Passengers who do not wear masks could be refused travel and banned from United flights for as long as the face mask rule is in effect. This will go into effect at more than 360 airports around the world.

The new rule comes weeks after United announced that it would place customers who refused to wear face masks onboard its flights on a temporary “no-fly list.”

Signs throughout the airport will remind passengers of the rule and the consequences for violating it. There will also be reminders online when passengers check-in for their flights and when they complete the airline’s “Ready to Fly” checklist, certifying they do not have any COVID-19 symptoms, according to their website.

The only passengers who will be excluded from the mask rule are those younger than two years old or those who have already spoken with a United employee about an extenuating health circumstance.

American's mask rule, also announced on Wednesday, will be implemented on July 27 and requires customers to wear face coverings, "from the time they enter their departure airport and not remove it until they exit their arrival airport."

Their rule also applies to passengers over the age of 2, anyone who enters the Admirals Club, and "does not allow exemptions." Customers who do not comply will also be barred from future flying with the airline.

The extension of masks policy for each airline is in conjunction with their health and safety initiatives which include increased cleaning procedures, contactless baggage drop-off, spacing out cabin seats as much as possible and limited food and beverage service.

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