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Will we always be wearing masks on aircraft now?

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Will we always be wearing masks on aircraft now?

Old 1st Oct 2021, 12:18
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Will we always be wearing masks on aircraft now?

Given the pandemic is now endemic, is there a real path to not having to wear one for hours at a time?
Not looking for a pro mask vs. anti mask debate, am asking from a customer experience standpoint, has any airline in the small no of countries who have ended restrictions lifted the mask mandate for air travel?
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Old 1st Oct 2021, 12:47
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I think some small carriers in Iceland in late June 2021 allowed domestic flights to be mask free (or didn't bother enforcing masks being needed) - think 9 or 19 seat props going to remote areas. At the time, Iceland had essentially zero domestic cases - all reported cases came from compulsory PCR testing of all pax on arrival at Keflavik. Then Iceland relaxed Covid controls a bit too much, and Covid reappeared in July in a big way, and the airlines changed their policies

Last edited by davidjohnson6; 1st Oct 2021 at 13:10.
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Old 1st Oct 2021, 15:17
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Good question. I want to start flying again but wearing a mask for more than 20 minutes and I feel as if I'm suffocating! Why should fully vaccinated passengers need to wear a mask?
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Old 1st Oct 2021, 16:13
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In case you are a carrier
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Old 1st Oct 2021, 17:11
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That's the irony, all the jabbed are as likely to carry the covid virus as the un-jabbed. Studies (from Israel i think) suggested that inoculated persons had a much higher viral load whilst being asymptomatic, compared to the non persons whose asymptomatic viral load was quite a bit less. . The takeaway from this study was that masks were still needed so as to stop the asymptomatic spread to persons (jabbed or un-jabbed) whose ability to fend off the effects of covid might be less.

I suppose that if mask-averse (as in wearing one for ages) then to find one/style that makes the wearing of it the least uncomfortable. Hopefully those much lauded HEPA filters will do a good job of scrubbing the cabin air. I have a feeling that masks and aircraft will be together for a good while yet. Whether due to fear of being sued by passengers or some form of control mechanism.
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Old 1st Oct 2021, 17:25
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
In case you are a carrier
This means masks forever, which is my worry. COVID is unarguably endemic now, so we need to live with it. Once most of us are vaccinated, I am willing to bet they'll still insist on facemasks. And I am loath to spend money on long haul travel while I need to mask up. From a customer experience standpoint, I don't want to be around people in that environment, call it a trigger if you like. But with COP in Glasgow coming up, I wonder if they will insist on masks in future in a bid to help mitigate non essential travel?

Building back better? (Til the lights go off this winter!)
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Old 1st Oct 2021, 18:19
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Some airlines are actually becoming more restrictive regarding mask as international travel picks back up. Specifically, they are mandating specific types of masks (e.g. N95), not just any cloth mask that you want to use.
Aside from the general dislike of wearing masks for an extended period (recently flew Seattle to Washington DC and back - ~5 hrs. each way, plus mandatory masks in the airport - yuk), it's the view of masks as some sort of magic bullet that annoys me. Yes, masks help, but not nearly as much the politicians imply. One study showed mask use reducing transmissible of Covid by only 8%. Better than nothing, but not much...
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Old 1st Oct 2021, 18:26
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I wonder if they will insist on masks in future in a bid to help mitigate non essential travel?

It seems to be headed that way, but perhaps if we only travelled for a specific reason, rather than on a whim because we fancied X, much as we would a takeaway meal, then the whole earth pollution angle would be realistic. In the last 20 yrs the massive expansion of the weekend market has allowed millions of people who otherwise mightn't have gone away (except for their annual beach trip) to travel 'just because'. This has been fantastic for the aviation industry and ancillary industries, and for those destination cities, but at a certain point it was too much. Barcelona was one of the first major weekend destinations, now reduced to a seething mass of uncouth visitors in busy periods, what a difference from before.

I haven't flown in nearly a year, but tbh when I next do I'll wear the mask under duress, but in the knowledge that it's probably the new normal and think of what it is i'm flying to and why.
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Old 1st Oct 2021, 18:41
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Wearing the mask on a long haul flight sucks. But it is what it is.
Air France gave me a surgical mask to wear instead of my triple layer cloth one. They were pleasant about it.
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Old 1st Oct 2021, 18:42
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If on a non-stop flight to a destination that on arrival requires a negative PCR test result no more than 72 hours from the departure time then everyone on the flight, including crew, are "negative" otherwise they wouldn't be permitted to board the flight, so is there a need to wear masks in this situation while in flight ?
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Old 1st Oct 2021, 18:46
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Alas there is still a window of at least 24 hours to become infected, between being tested and boarding the aircraft. Plenty of time for one to visit the supermarket, shopping mall, restaurant, nightclub, cinema, theatre, etc
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Old 1st Oct 2021, 19:20
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It depends.
If people around the world start to understand that they have the right to say they don't want masks anymore, even if it costs some lives or some "long covid", maybe we will have a chance to one day live mask free again.
But I'm very afraid if we never wake up and say no, we will keep them on for the rest of our foreseeable lives.
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Old 1st Oct 2021, 19:49
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You can be mask free... you just can't fly.
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Old 1st Oct 2021, 21:43
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I presume pax still get fed and watered on long haul flights. They have to remove masks to eat and drink. It therefore seems futile to be wearing a mask the rest of the time. No problem with wearing a mask at the airport / at the gate / during the boarding process. Likewise during the arrival process. No problem with wearing a mask on the aircraft whilst moving around the cabin (as in going to and from the washroom). But wearing a mask in one's seat for 6 to11 odd hours is just OTT.
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Old 1st Oct 2021, 21:50
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I​​t's called covid theatre. It's virtue signalling by airlines so if you do go down with covid at your destination you can't blame /sue them.
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Old 2nd Oct 2021, 02:22
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I can live without flying.
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Old 2nd Oct 2021, 11:26
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Musket90

What makes you think the crew are tested?
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Old 2nd Oct 2021, 12:03
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I would've thought that if subjected to many hours of mask wearing on a longhaul flight, the passengers might well take it off whilst in the washroom, to wash face etc and out of a need to be free of said encumbrance for a short while. This washroom being a very enclosed space, shared by possibly a hundred other passengers from the flight. As said above, no joined up thinking, box ticking and legal doings.
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Old 2nd Oct 2021, 13:34
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If anyone wants to encourage passengers they have to relax the mask regulations. I have travelled in the past year a couple of times solely for work and I hate it. There would be zero chance of me and for many others going through the experience for a holiday.
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Old 2nd Oct 2021, 17:06
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Most people donít mind. I travel both for work and leasure. Planes are full. People wear masks. Iíd argue that more people would be uncomfortable top travel without masks.
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