Travelers flying with American Airlines should be aware that certain types of face masks are not permitted on board its flights. This follows the latest advice from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in relation to the wearing of face masks to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Man wearing face mask and waiting for flight at airport
Face masks must cover the mouth and nose © Chalabala via Getty Images/iStockphoto

Effective 19 August, passengers are not allowed to board wearing face coverings with exhaust valves, those made with materials such as mesh or lace, and those that do not cover the nose and mouth. Face shields without the addition of a face covering are also prohibited. American Airlines’ face mask rules apply to all passengers over the age of two, but the masks may be taken off briefly by passengers while they're eating and drinking.

The airline requires passengers to wear a well-secured cloth or mask that fits snugly against the face and covers an individual’s nose and mouth. It must be made of a material that prevents the discharge and release of respiratory droplets from a person's nose or mouth. "The CDC notes that face coverings with one-way valves or vents allow exhaled air to be expelled through holes in the material," the airline explains. "These can allow exhaled respiratory droplets to reach others and potentially spread the coronavirus (COVID-19).

A man wearing a face mask walking through the airport
American Airlines has updated its masks policy © Piyamas Dulmunsumphun / EyeEm

Those who aren't in possession of an approved face covering will be provided with one, upon request, at the airport, but anyone unwilling to comply with American’s face covering policy at any time during their journey may be denied boarding or barred from future travel. “Wearing a face covering is a responsibility we all share," says Alison Taylor, chief customer officer at American.  "An effective covering, worn properly, is one of the best ways we can control the spread of COVID-19 to protect our team members and customers.”

Lockdowns are easing globally as the planet adjusts to a new normal. Find out how COVID-19 is changing travel.

You might also like:

Southwest will stop cleaning armrests and seat belts between flights
This airline will cover your expenses if you're diagnosed with COVID-19 while traveling

Explore related stories

Dominical, Costa Rica - An aerial view of a car driving along a dirt road surrounded by water on either side.  © Jordan Siemens / Getty Images

Destination Practicalities

Getting around in Costa Rica

Jul 3, 2024 • 6 min read