Nervous to Fly Without a Mask Mandate? These Airlines Will Offer You a Refund

Several airlines are offering flexible refund policies in light of recent events

Airport Mask

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With masks no longer required on airplanes, some travelers are feeling hesitant about their future travel plans. Now, several airlines have announced refund policies for those who feel uncomfortable flying without a mask mandate.

On Thursday, United Airlines Chief Executive Scott Kirby said that his carrier will be flexible with passengers who "are immunocompromised or that have other concerns or issues." A spokesperson for United, Josh Freed, later clarified that passengers who feel uncomfortable flying should get in touch with United's customer service. "We'll work with them to find the best solution for them," said Freed.

Alaska Airlines is also on board. The carrier shared that it will be open to offering refunds to those feeling hesitant about their travel plans, stating that it will "work with guests on a case-by-case basis if they're not comfortable flying."

Meanwhile, Southwest Airlines will allow travelers to cancel flights and use the value of their tickets towards a future flight purchase. American Airlines, too, will offer refunds to travelers who purchase refundable tickets or have status in the carrier's mileage rewards program. The airline, however, said it has no plans to offer refunds to those who purchased basic economy tickets.

Although the mask mandate was repealed by a federal judge last Monday, the ongoing situation is still unclear. On Wednesday, the Justice Department announced it would be appealing the decision at the request of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC released a statement sharing that it is the agency’s “continuing assessment that at this time an order requiring masking in the indoor transportation corridor remains necessary for the public health.”

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  1. The Los Angeles Times. "Uncomfortable Flying Without a Mask Mandate? Some Airlines May Refund Your Ticket." April 21, 2022.