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Travel After Covid – Airlines Update

Here’s the latest policies and plans for some US carriers regarding masks, cabin service and social distancing.


May 4, 2020


  • Employees who can’t maintain a six-foot social distance from others will need to wear masks starting May 4.

  • Passengers must wear masks beginning May 11.

  • Middle seats are blocked on aircraft that have them. For aircraft without middle seats, aisles seats will be blocked.

  • Onboard food and drink service will be limited and all airport lounges are closed, except one at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.


  • There are no mask requirements for passengers or crew, but use is encouraged. A spokeswoman confirmed that the airline will provide passengers with masks, gloves and hand wipes.

  • Passengers are encouraged not to book middle seats and flight attendants may reseat you to enforce social distancing measures.

  • Food is sold only in prepacked containers


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  • A spokeswoman said all employees regardless of role are required to wear masks.

  • Masks for passengers will be required at check-in, gate areas and during the flight beginning May 8. 

  • Every other row of seats will be blocked on all flights through at least early May.


  • Cabin crew members are required to wear masks.

  • Starting May 4, passengers also will be required to wear face masks, beginning at check-in. A spokesman said that a small number of masks will be available for passengers who don’t bring their own.

  • The number of available seats on all flights will be limited.

  • There’ll be fewer food and beverage options.


  • There are no mask requirements for flight attendants or passengers. 

  • Disposable sanitizing wipes are available on board transpacific and intra-Hawaii flights.

  • Some airport lounges are closed.

  • A spokesman says the airline “will soon launch updated seat maps with seat blocks specifically designed to maintain social distancing onboard.”


  • All in-flight snack and drink service is currently suspended.

  • Flight attendants will be required to wear masks starting May 3. 

  • A mask mandate for passengers will begin May 11. Masks will be available for people that don’t bring them.

  • The airline will limit the number of passengers onboard each flight so that middle seats can remain unoccupied (remember that Southwest has an open seating policy). People traveling together will be permitted to sit together. 


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