Alaska Airlines to require face masks for frontline employees and flyers

SEATTLE, WA (KTUU) - In order to be on the same page as the Centers for Disease Control, Alaska Airlines will be making face masks mandatory for guests on May 11th and employees on May 4th.

The airline issued a press release Friday, saying this is an effort to keep guests and employees safe.

"Safety is our most important value at Alaska Airlines, and thanks to our employees we have an incredibly safe operation. In light of COVID-19, we're in a new era of air travel and are continually updating our safety standards to better protect our guests and employees. For now, this includes wearing masks, which is another layer of protection that can reduce the spread of the virus," said Max Tidwell, Alaska Airlines' vice president of safety.

Guests will be expected to bring their own mask and will be required to wear it throughout the airport and the flight experience. Additional supplies will be available for anyone who forgets a face mask. More details about face masks requirements will be shared with guests next week and in pre-trip communications before their date of travel.

The airline said the temporary policy will be reevaluated periodically as guidance evolves.

This is just another added safety measure the airline is taking during the COVID-19 pandemic. Other measures include:

  • Expanded enhanced cleaning on flights, which includes use of high-grade, EPA registered disinfectants to sanitize critical touch points like tray tables, seat belts, overhead bins, armrests and lavatories.
  • Expanded use of electrostatic sanitizing spray to disinfect aircraft interiors.
  • Limiting the number of passengers onboard and blocking middle seats on large aircraft and aisle seats on small aircraft through May 31, 2020.
  • Enhanced and more frequent cleaning of airport counters, lounges and high-traffic areas.
  • Social distancing floor decals rolled out this week at airports to remind guests and employees to remain separated by at least six feet.
  • Providing disposable surgical and re-usable fabric masks for employees.
  • Continued use of hospital-grade air filters on all planes. These HEPA filters are proven effective in removing airborne particles and cycle new air into the cabin every three minutes.

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