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State Mask Requirements VS United’s Mask Requirements

Date: March 9, 2021

Many states have begun to roll back mask mandates in favor of more relaxed or optional policies.

Regardless of any state decisions, federal law is unchanged, and it is a United requirement that all passengers over the age of two comply with wearing a face mask over their nose and mouth. Flight Attendants should be prepared for some passenger confusion and potential push back regarding mask compliance. In addition, the recent changes to more specific mask requirements onboard United aircraft and in United terminals may add to some confusion.  We recommend that you be familiar with the updated United policy that reinforces vented masks, bandanas and other single layer masks are not allowed.

 

 Recent updates also include giving the passengers the “compliance” card on first contact, and a stricter requirement to remove and replace the mask between bites of food and sips of drinks rather than leaving it off for the duration of the service.


Recognizing that our role in mask compliance may not be a welcome addition to our duties, keeping us and our passengers safe is in direct alignment with our responsibilities.  If/when you encounter resistance, you are encouraged to continue filing IOR (Irregular Operations Reports) and educating passengers on the requirements of a mask while on board the aircraft. Issues on the ground should be communicated to the Captain and CSR to avoid bringing noncompliance issues inflight.

It’s important to know, that the Union may not reliably receive copies of these reports and is at a disadvantage in advocating to support you on the plane when we meet with management.  Recognizing that your workday is already long, we need the information only you can provide and are asking you to send a copy of your mask related reports to us directly, in addition to filing an IOR, so we can follow up and take appropriate action.  A copy of your IOR text included in the e-mail will suffice.  In addition, we are interested in learning about the challenges you may be facing during the service.  Please email these reports to us at masks@unitedafa.org.


Please understand, use of this e-mail account is intended for us to collect data from you on issues involving mask compliance as well as issues encountered while delivering the scheduled service on the aircraft.  We will not be replying to these e-mails and ask that you continue to direct your concerns requiring a response either by IOR, ISAP or through your Local Council.

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