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US Airlines Dump Mask Mandates
Federal Judge Kathryn Mizelle’s ruling prompts swift end to in-air masking
Yesterday, Federal Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle for the Middle District of Florida ruled that the CDC had exceeded its authority, voiding the Biden administration’s mask mandate for airlines and other public transportation. Shortly after, social media erupted with stories of cheering passengers as major US airlines including Delta, Southwest, United, American, Alaska, JetBlue, Spirit, and Frontier dumped their mask mandates, in many cases making the announcement mid-flight.
It was a powerful and much-welcome display of unified civil resistance across the country—no doubt planned in advance by many pilots and other airline employees as they awaited Judge Mizelle’s ruling. Airlines had been pressing the federal government to end the mask mandate for months, and the celebratory mid-flight announcements put the Biden administration in a tight spot politically, revealing just how unpopular the mandates really were and making the administration look like they’re ruining the party should they try to appeal the ruling.