Face masks

Fines double for flyers who refuse to wear face masks

“Be prepared to pay.”

As part of President Biden’s broad COVID-19 action plan, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will double fines for those who are not in compliance with the federal mask mandate on commercial aircraft and in various modes of transportation, including railroad, intercity buses, and other forms of public transportation.

The new range of penalties takes effect right away – on Friday, September 10, 2021 – and will now be $500 to $1,000 for first offenders and $1,000 to $3,000 for second offenders.

The federal mask mandate for transportation is currently in effect until January 18, 2022.   

“We appreciate the majority of travelers each day who voluntarily follow the requirement, but find this action necessary to maximize the protections for those who use and work within the transportation system, and to contain COVID-19,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoskei in a statement. “By doubling the range of penalties, we seek to reinforce the importance of voluntary adherence.”  

Mask mandate on planes & public transit to be extended

On Tuesday, multiple sources were reporting that federal officials will extend until at least mid-January the requirement that travelers must wear face masks on commercial airplanes, in airports, and on other forms of public transportation.

The Transportation Security Administration’s current transportation mask mandate is set to expire on Sept. 13. The agency is expected to extend the mandate until Jan. 18.

The mask mandate makes sense, given the rising rates of COVID-19 due to the delta variant. But there are likely to be people who are unhappy with that requirement. Some of those people will likely end up in the FAA’s unruly passenger list.

No official tweet from TSA on the mask mandate as of late Tuesday night, but TSA did post something earlier in the day about the latest pups in competition for the agency’s Cutest Canine Contest.

Dogs are cool, but cat lovers at some airports made sure to celebrate Black Cat Appreciation Day on Tuesday as well.

Traveling? Face Masks required through at least September 13

Almost every airline, airport, railroad, and public transportation mode put face mask requirements into effect pretty early into the pandemic. The federal government did not.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) first issued its face mask requirement on February 1, 2021, with an initial expiration date of May 11.

Last week the agency announced it is extending the face mask requirement for individuals across all transportation networks throughout the United States through September 13,

That includes airports, on board commercial aircraft, on buses, and on commuter bus and rail systems.

So today, we’re bringing back some of the creative branded face masks from airports that we’ve been collecting. If you have more to share, please send them along.

Federal Face Mask Mandate applies to airplanes

One of the executive orders President Joe Biden signed on his first day in office is a 100-day mask mandate. The rule applies to all federal property, including national parks, airlines, trains, and transit systems that travel between states.

Many travelers and parts of the travel industry are applauding the move. And it looks like we’ll have the new Bernie Sanders-bundled-up-at-the inauguration meme to help us remember to stick with the program.

There’s even an app that will help you put the masked-up Sanders at your favorite airport – or anywhere Google has mapped.

Here here is at Chicago O’Hare and Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

See Alaska Airlines’ new safety dance & buy the airline’s holiday sweater for a good cause

Airlines aren’t messing around when they say “Wear a mask. Or else.”

So far, Delta Air Lines has banned more than 700 passengers who refuse to mask up. And Alaska Airlines has banned 219 flyers under the airline’s “No Mask, No Travel” policy.

Now, to help get their point across about masks, Alaska Airlines has a safety dance video.

Alaska Airline’s “Safety Dance” video was directed by Warren Fu. He’s known for his work with artists such as Dua Lipa, The Weeknd, Daft Punk. and HAIM. The video was choreographed by Anna Matuszewski, who is known for her work with Macklemore.

Even better, the people dancing in the video are real Alaska Airlines employees.

Buy an ugly Alaska Airlines holiday sweater for a good cause

For the past few years, anyone wearing a holiday sweater was treated to priority boarding on Alaska Airlines flights on National Ugly Sweater Day.

National Ugly Sweater Day is December 18th this year. But Alaska Airlines won’t be offering early boarding for holiday sweater-wearers due to social distancing guidelines.

Instead, Alaska Airlines is inviting sweater fans to purchase their own Alaska Airlines-branded ugly sweater for $30 each, with the proceeds going to provide holiday meals for those in need.

Funds will be donated to United Way’s Ride United Last-Mile Delivery initiative, which partners local United Ways with DoorDash and its “Dashers” (drivers) to deliver food from local food banks, food pantries and other distribution points to senior citizens, low income families and those who can’t leave home.

The sweaters are for sale on Alaska Airlines’ company store website, where you’ll also find fun gifts such as Luly Yang socks and holiday ornaments, such as tiny little ugly sweaters.