Mask mandate off. For now.

On Monday a federal judge in Florida struck down the Biden administration’s mandate requiring masks to be worn in airports, on airplanes, trains, buses, and on other forms of public transportation.

The ruling is being reviewed. But late Monday, the Transportation Security Administration issued a statement informing the public that:

Due to today’s court ruling, effective immediately, TSA will no longer enforce its Security Directives and Emergency Amendment requiring mask use on public transportation and transportation hubs. TSA will also rescind the new Security Directives that were scheduled to take effect tomorrow. CDC continues to recommend that people wear masks in indoor public transportation settings at this time.

TSA’s announcement was followed by messages from airports and airlines saying they too would no longer enforce the mask mandate.

Here are a couple of airport tweets on the subject. Note the tweet from Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) where masks are still required.

Airlines were pretty quick to declare that they would no longer be requiring passengers to wear masks on board either.

American Airlines, Alaska Airines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue, Southwest Airlines, Sun Country, United Airlines and most every other airline issued a statement and/or sent out a social media post.

You may – and maybe should – still wear a mask when you travel

While masks may no longer be required when traveling, it may still be a good idea to wear a mask in busy airports and on airplanes and on public transporation to and from the airport.

Coronavirus infections are on the rise in many communities and you, or someone around you, may be immunocompromised and easily susceptible to the current COVID variant, the flu, or whatever else may be going around.

There are also still a lot of unvaccinated people out there. So wearing a mask is an easy way to protect yourself and those around you.

If you decide to no longer wear a mask when traveling, please be respectful of those who continue to wear them.

CDC extends mask order through May 3, 2022

If you’re planning to travel by plane, train, or public bus, don’t put away those face masks just yet.

On Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced that it is extending the mask mandate that was set to expire on April 18 by 15 days, through at least May 3, 2022. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will continue enforcing the order.

The reason? CDC is monitoring the spread of the Omicron variant, especially the BA.2 subvariant. And cases are rising.

“Since early April, there have been increases in the 7-day moving average of cases in the U.S. The CDC Mask Order remains in effect while CDC assesses the potential impact of the rise of cases on severe disease, including hospitalizations and deaths, and healthcare system capacity,” the CDC said in a statement.

CDC also said it will update its Travel Health Notice system for international destinations, beginning April 18.

“[T]his new system will reserve Level 4 travel health notices for special circumstances, such as rapidly escalating case trajectory or extremely high case counts, emergence of a new variant of concern, or healthcare infrastructure collapse.,” the CDC announced.

“Levels 3, 2, and 1 will continue to be primarily determined by 28-day incidence or case counts. With this new configuration, travelers will have a more actionable alert for when they should not travel to a certain destination (Level 4), regardless of vaccination status, until we have a clearer understanding of the COVID-19 situation at that destination.”

Bottom line: pay attention. This COVID thing is not over.

How will airports mark April 1?

We’re looking forward to some fun on April 1 as airports, airlines & others (maybe you?) celebrate April 1.

We got a preview earlier this week from Sacramento International Airport (SMF), which alerted fans of the airport’s iconic giant red rabbit that a makeover might be in the cards.

We love this 2022 wayfinding idea from Edmonton International Airport

And, honestly, we’d buy some of these DEN Candles

Here’s the sales pitch and ‘ordering information’ for a new line of DEN-scented candles.

Who says spring cleaning has to be dull? Spice up your home with scents from DEN’s new candle line that include our favorite airport aromas.

Scents include:

  • Mustang Musk: He’s big, he’s blue and he smells good too! Mustang is one of DEN’s most controversial art pieces and now you can be reminded of his special glow with this amazing candle scent mixed with musk, cedar and sage.
  • Smells Like Vacation: You’ve got your toes in the water, a cold drink in your hand and the sea breeze in your hair. Want to take a relaxing beach vacation, but can’t get away? Enjoy our “Smells Like Vacation” candle that will bring the sea breeze, coconut and pineapple daiquiri scents straight to your home.
  • Jet Fuel: No judgment over here. We know you people like this scent. For people who REALLY love to travel. This is one of our most unique scents in the DEN candle line, but one that will no doubt make you feel like you are at the airport waiting for your next flight. Enjoy a mix of fig tree and sandalwood with a hint of kerosene.
  • DEN Hops and Barley: It’s never too early to enjoy a Colorado local brewed beer. As we like to say, “it’s 8 a.m. somewhere!” Attention beer lovers! This is the candle just for you as you set the mood for your next party or poker night. The scents of citrus, hops and lager will leave you craving your next Colorado-brewed beer at DEN.
  • Clean Linen Tent: Close your eyes and imagine you’re in the DEN terminal looking up. Those crisp white tents must smell like fresh, clean linen. When it’s time to kick back and relax, make sure to look up and take in the view. Our “Clean Linen Tent” candle should remind you of this architectural wonder and smells like clean linen and eucalyptus.
  • Gargoyle Garden: This candle is the perfect mix of the DEN gargoyles’ favorite scents: gardenia, fresh rain and good luck. The three DEN gargoyles – two art pieces and one talking gargoyle perched on Level 5 near baggage claim – watch over DEN passengers and provide them with good luck. Now you can bring that luck home as well as the wonderful smells of spring, gardenia and fresh rain.

Want some? DEN says the scented candles are available for $20 each, with a six-pack of candles available for $50, in a collector’s DEN Tents box. And “coming soon are lotions and hand sanitizers.”

Follow this link to try to buy the candles…..

Rental cars are hard to get, so LAX is renting cardigans instead

A step back for New Orleans?

DFW is now FWD

SLC has a new name too

Sail away from CHA

Ice-skating back (?) at Dallas Love Field

DCA will now be Cherry Blossom pink year-round

Fast news from JetBlue

Mic drop from Southwest Airlines

Welcome to MCO

O’Hare & Midway Airports going to the birds – and the dogs

(We think…)

And here’s how Leap the rabbit looks in green

DEN also had one of our favorite pranks from 2021

Museum Monday: Airport Trading Cards

The collectibles department at Stuck at The Airport was thrilled to receive a package this week from our friends at Airport Council International-North America.

Inside was an almost complete set of the colorful collectible trading cards airports around the country have been issuing every few years since 2014. The number of participating airports has grown over the years and, at last count, there were more than 90 airports with their own trading cards.

Even better, some airports have issued multiple versions of their trading cards over several years.

The front of each card portrays an image of an airport and the airport code. On the reverse of each card are factoids about the airport pictured.

Want your own set of airport trading cards?

Our set is going into the Stuck at The Airport museum archives. But you can start putting your set together by stopping at an information booth in any airport you visit. Participating airports with a stash of current cards distribute them out for free. Some airports also have trading cards for their therapy dogs too. So be sure to ask.

It’s been a while since a new batch has been issued. But we think a fresh new round of collectible airport trading cards would be a great way to celebrate what feels like a very robust return to travel.

Which cards do you have? Please share your tips on how you got them.

Airports celebrate Black History Month

Airports and airlines are celebrating Black History Month.

Here’s a selected round-up of some stories, art, and exhibits to look for when you’re traveling around this month.

If we missed yours, please let us know.

Updates added: February 15, 2022

SFO Museum Honors Tuskegee Airmen with exhibit

Through April 7, 2022, passengers visiting SFO’s Terminal 3 (Departures Level) will see a great exhibit of photographs featuring the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of primarily African American pilots and airmen who fought in the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II.

(332nd Fighter Group pilots. March 1945 (L-R) Col. Benjamin O. Davis, Commanding Officer, and Edward C. Gleed, Group Operations Officer)
Crew chief Marcellus G. Smith of the 332nd Fighter Group works on a North American P-51D Mustang  March 1945 

The images of the 332nd in Ramitelli in March of 1945 are from the Library of Congress and were created by photographer Toni Frissell (1907-1988). She was a successful fashion photographer during the 1930s and early 40s and during World War II pursued more challenging assignments with the American Red Cross, the Women’s Army Corps, and the 332nd Fighter Group.