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12.13.21 – Federal Mask Mandate Update

Monday, December 13, 2021

Federal Mask Mandate Update

The requirements for travelers to wear masks on airplanes, buses, trains, and boats, as well as in airports and other transportation hubs has been extended through March 2022. American Airlines’ Mask policy remains unchanged. The American Airlines mask policy is as follows:

Passengers are required to wear a face-covering at all times while onboard the aircraft. Anyone who refuses may be subject to penalties under federal law.

Passengers with permanent disabilities who are unable to wear a mask may request an exemption. Passengers in this category will be required to contact the Special Assistance team at least 72 hours prior to departure. If approved, the passenger will be notated as a No Mask Okay’ (NMOK). Exemptions require:

  • Documentation from a licensed health care provider.
  • Proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three calendar days of departure or proof of recovery from COVID-19.


Airport Customer Service will not board passengers who do not wear a face covering and who have not completed the NMOK process prior to the flight. Gate agents must specifically brief FA1 on any NMOK passengers(s) on the flight during the Departure Dependability Briefing (DDB) prior to passenger boarding.

During the DDB between FA1 and the gate agent, the No Mask Okay (NMOK) passenger(s) will be identified, and the seat location provided. Keep in mind, NMOK information can be found on the final paperwork and in the MyFlight App on the Flight Attendant tablet.

Flight Attendants can view a list of all special service codes, including NMOK, by clicking on “Total” under the “Special Services” section of MyFlight.

Flight Attendants can also check to see if a customer has NMOK listed in their PNR by tapping any seat that has a red star on the seat map. They will be able to view all special service codes associated with that customer.

Note: The NMOK indicator will only appear inside MyFlight after the customer has provided appropriate documentation for review and approval by the ticket and/or gate agent at the airport. For a final list of any possible NMOK customers onboard, update MyFlight before door closure.

If a passenger is not complying with the face mask requirement and is otherwise not noted as a NMOK on the final paperwork, a Flight Attendant should follow the steps below:

  • Provide a verbal reminder to the passenger(s)
    • If the passenger(s) continues to be non-compliant, another Flight Attendant on the crew should give another reminder.
      • Ensure that the communication between customers and Flight Attendants is clear.
  • If the passenger(s) continues to be non-compliant and ignores your requests, without escalating the situation, all involved Flight Attendants must submit a CERS.
  • The CERS must contain:
    • Date of flight
    • Customer name
    • Seat number
    • Summary of circumstances and interaction with the customer


Please remember when reporting Customer Misconducts regarding face coverings, at LEAST two (2) Flight Attendants involved with the incident will need to file CERS.

Do not complete a PIDR unless a customer becomes aggressive or threatening.

Remember that children under two are exempt from the face-covering requirement.

Under the TSA Security Directive, face coverings allowed for travel are defined as a meeting all of the following requirements:

  • Made of multiple layers of tightly woven materials such as cotton or linen
  • Completely covers a person’s nose, mouth, and chin without gaping
  • Can be secured to a person’s head with ties, ear loops, elastic, or similar materials
  • The portion of a face mask in front of a wearer’s lips may be made of transparent material that permits lip-reading if:
    • The rest of the face mask is made of multiple layers of tightly woven materials such as cotton or linen
    • There is a tight seal between the transparent material and the rest of the face mask


Face shields, goggles, and masks with valves or vents are not an acceptable substitute for the use of a face mask but may be used in addition to the face covering.

Neck gaiters, multi-bands, or bandanas are not permitted.

If you question whether a face-covering meets the requirements, offer the customer a face covering from the PPE drawer in place of or in addition to the face-covering they are wearing.

In Solidarity,

Vivian Stubblefield
APFA National Safety & Security Chair

1004 West Euless Boulevard
Euless, Texas 76040

Phone: (817) 540-0108
Fax: (817) 540-2077


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