Did you know that Las Vegas’ main airport, McCarran International Airport, is the 8th busiest airport in the United States? In a normal year, over 40 million travelers will pass through its gates!
In the midst of this COVID pandemic, no matter your thoughts or feeling on this issue, each airline has a mandatory policy about wearing masks. Who needs to wear them, how to wear them and what is an acceptable mask to wear.
I thought it was time to look at the current mask policy for each of the five top airlines serving Las Vegas. This was the current policy of each named airline to the best of my knowledge as of this date. Please understand that these policies will change frequently, so Please check with the airline you are planning to fly for up-to-date information.
As of this writing and to the best of my research, here are the mask policies of the top five airlines serving Las Vegas, Nevada.
1. Southwest Airlines:
This is the world’s largest low-cost carrier airline and the busiest airline at McCarren Airport. They have 121 scheduled destinations in the United States and ten additional countries.
Here is how they manage mask policy to ensure your better health.
1.1 Do You Need to Wear a Mask at Southwest Airlines?
According to federal law, from age 2 to above, all are required to wear a face mask. You need to wear it at the airport, throughout the flight, deplaning, and departure. A face mask should be snugly fitted against the sides of the face. It must cover the nose and mouth properly. Whether you are vaccinated or not, face masks are mandatory for all.
1.2 What types of face masks are allowed at Southwest Airlines?
They have allowed these types of face masks:
- Medical respirators
- Cloth mask made with two or more layers of washable and breathable fabric.
- Neck gaiters or multi-bands, if it has two or more layers. Otherwise, fold it to make two layers.
- Clear mask or cloth mask with a plastic panel – It will help communicate with a hearing-impaired person or those who need to see the speaker’s mouth to understand speech.
If you refuse to wear the mask, it will be considered a violation of federal law. It may result in denial of boarding, removal from the aircraft, and/or penalties under federal law.
1.3 How Can You Take a Flight at Southwest Airlines If You Want Exemption from Face Covering?
If you can’t wear a mask because of disability, several conditions apply that must be adhered to before traveling to get the exemption. Know those conditions here.
2. Spirit Airlines
Spirit Airlines is the second busiest airline flying into Las Vegas.
Here is their mask policy to keep the passengers safe during travel.
2.1 What’s Regarding Face Masks at Spirit Airlines?
Like most other airlines, from age two and above, you are required to wear a face mask. They work according to Federal law and require the customer/traveler/guest to wear an appropriate face covering at airports and flights.
2.2 What Type of Face Mask Can You Wear at Spirit Airlines?
A face mask that fits snugly is allowed at Spirit Airlines. It must cover the nose and mouth and be secured under the chin.
Your mask must have at least two layers of fabric. So, your face mask can be a disposable non-medical face mask, multi-layered cloth face covering. If your mask contains mesh material or valve, is open-chin triangle bandanas or only face shield without wearing a mask will not consider as a face covering.
2.3 What If You Can’t Wear a Mask Due to Disability? Do Spirit Airlines Allow You Exemption from Face Covering?
Yes, they allow. Spirit Airlines will interpret and vet through a strict approval process if that disability is recognized by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Know this disabilities list and much more related here.
They require you to ask them for face mask exemption 48 hours prior to the scheduled departure. You need to come 3 hours before the flight so that medical experts screen you and decide about face mask exemption.
You are not permitted to remove the mask at the airport or during the flight just because you find mask-wearing difficult.
3. Delta Airlines:
Delta Airlines is renowned for its domestic as well as international flights, founded in 1925, 96 years ago. This airline is offering flights to 300 destinations in 60 countries.
Here are their mask policies to make this possible.
3.1 When Need to Wear a Face Mask When Traveling at Delta Airlines?
According to federal law and Delta Airlines policy, all customers, partners, and employees are instructed to wear a mask all time. It means, from entering the airport, using public transit, boarding, during the flight, and deplaning, you must wear the mask. Whether you are vaccinated, Delta Airlines still want you to wear the mask for your better safety.
3.2 Which Types of Face Masks Are Allowed at Delta Airlines?
This is the most anticipated question when talking about masks. People are truly concerned about picking a suitable mask with their clothes that look perfect on them. So, here is the answer.
Delta Airlines only allows you these masks:
- Disposable surgical or medical masks
- N95 or KN95 – Valve-free respirator masks
- Tightly woven fabric cloth masks. 2 or 3 ply masks are recommended.
- Fabric masks with a clear plastic window and gaiters with two layers; if yours contains single-layer gaiters, it should be doubled over.
Any mask with an exhaust valve is not acceptable in Delta or Delta connection-operated flights.
3.3 Are Children Required to Wear a Face Mask?
For children and their parents’ ease, children under the age of 2 are not required to wear a face mask.
3.4 Can You Still Take a Flight on Delta Airlines, If You Can’t Wear a Mask or There’s Any Special Requirement for It?
If you are a person with a unique disability, we give you a friendly suggestion to reconsider your traveling decision.
Delta Airlines wants you to complete the ‘Clearance to fly’ procedure before departure at the airport for a smooth flight experience if you still want to go. If you want exemption from mask policies required due to your unique disability, Delta airlines encourage you to come an hour before check-in to complete the procedure and avoid missing the flight. Know further
False claim of any disability to get exemption from mask policies will result in the suspension of travel privileges at Delta Airlines or may be reported to appropriate government authorities.
4. United Airlines:
United Airlines is the major airline operating a large domestic and international route network spanning cities large and small across the United States and all six continents.
Here are their face covering policy to ensure a healthy environment.
4.1 Do All Customers Require to Wear Masks at United Airlines? If Yes, When?
Yes, all travelers from age 2 to above are required to use a face mask. According to Federal law, you need to wear the mask in the airport, including customer service counters, airport lounges, gates, and baggage claim, and onboard during their entire flight.
4.2 What Type of Face Mask Can You Wear at United Airlines?
A face mask that is comfortable and perfectly fits and fully covers the mouth and nose with no vents and openings is allowed at United Airlines. Bandanas and face shields alone are not considered as a face covering.
Refusing to wear a face mask is considered a breach of federal law. It may result in a fine that is upto $35,000, or you will not be transported and lose the privilege to travel on United Airlines.
4.3 How Can You Get Exemption from Wearing a Face Mask at United Airlines Because Of Any Medical Condition and Disability?
United Airlines is allowing exemption through a multi-step approach if someone wants exemption due to disability and medical condition. For this, you should submit documents at MaskException@united.com.
You must submit a mask exemption request form 7 days before scheduled departure. It must be filled by your treating medical provider regarding disability and medical condition. Know further
5. Allegiant Air:
Allegiant Air is the fourteenth largest commercial airline in North America and one of the low-cost air carriers that operates and schedule charter flights. It is famous for cheap flights & hotel deals on vacation packages to top destinations.
Here’s what their mask policy is to contribute to ensuring the better health of people.
5.1 Do You Need to Wear the Mask at Allegiant Air?
Yes, because they also work according to federal law. You must wear a mask that perfectly fits against the face, covers the nose and mouth, and is secured under the chin. Mask must be made of solid material. Children under the age of 2 are exempt from face covering.
5.2 What Type of Masks Can You Not Use at Allegiant Air?
Any face mask made of mesh or lace means containing holes and containing valve are not allowed. Neck gaiters, bandanas, and face shields alone would not be considered as a proper face covering or an alternative to a face mask.
Refusing to wear the face mask consider a violation of federal law. It may result in denial of boarding, removal from the aircraft, and additional penalties.
5.3 What If You Can’t Wear a Mask Because Of Disability or Medical Condition?
Allegiant Air cares for you. Suppose a person has a disability that can’t allow that person to remove the mask by themselves or have any medical conditions that prevent them from face covering. In that case, Allegiant Air wants you to submit documents at ACAA@allegiantair.com. To get the exemption, you must submit this face mask exemption ten days prior to the flight. Know more.
When Can You Take Off the Mask When on A Flight with Any of The Above 5 Airlines?
Either Delta, Southwest, United, Spirit, or Allegiant airlines all allow you briefly remove face-covering to eat, drink, or take oral medication. But you must wear the face-covering during bites and sips. Prolong removal of face masks is not permitted as it can be dangerous to your health.
As silly or asinine as these rules are, they are what they are and we need to follow them in order to maintain some semblance of “freedom to travel”. And like the supposed virus itself, these rules will change as the wind blows, so please, once or if you choose an airline to fly, check their individual website for any changes to these rules.
Your thoughts or comments are always welcomed!