CDC Recommends Masks On Planes (Yes, This Is New In October)

The CDC has issued a ‘strong’ recommendation for mask wearing on planes, rideshares and across public transportation. Yes, in October. And there are three reasons this will make no difference whatsoever for air travel.

  • Airlines are all already doing this (so are Uber and Lyft). The guidelines do nothing to change how travel occurs in the U.S. or on U.S. airlines.

  • The recommendation comes extremely late. I suppose ‘better late than never’ applies. Of course the CDC advised against mask wearing during the spring. The CDC hasn’t accorded itself well here.

  • The CDC guidelines are weaker than what airlines are currently enforcing. They provide for medical exemptions to mask wearing. United, American, and Southwest do not allow such exemptions. Delta requires a medical consultation at the airport prior to offering one.

The CDC botched testing at the beginning of the pandemic (and the FDA wouldn’t allow non-CDC tests to be used). They botched passenger screening, enforcing the ban on travel from China before the virus spread on the West Coast, and failed to share passenger data with local health authorities. They argued against mask wearing (which led to American Airlines disciplining flight attendants who insisted on wearing them).

For all of the complaints about meddling with the CDC scientists by the administration, the agency itself has accorded itself poorly and senior leadership has placated the administration. Where are the high level resignations? Where’s the taking of responsibility?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. There is no accountability or responsibility taken by government agencies. This is why some folks argue for less government or privatization.

    Remember the VA and the dead veterans? Nothing ever happened to anyone, and it happened again and again.

  2. It is important to distinguish between the many thousands of top-rate medical professionals who work at the CDC and the politically appointed people who oversee the agency, often with a good deal of interference from the White House. That has been a particular problem with this White House.

  3. The CDC isn’t credible. Nobody looks to them for anything other than reading the White House tea leaves. They are fully politicized and should just be shut down. There is no leadership there anymore, and they do nothing useful.

  4. @Tprophet…Agree completely, the CDC is joke and have been wrong about almost everything during this scamdemic. Add in the numbskull Fauci, who has been wrong about face diapers, wrong about hydroxychloroquine, wrong about how many will die and now, wrong about his favored therapeutic, Remdesivir.

    With that track record and considering they work in government, it’s more likely they’ll be considered for promotions.

  5. “Of course the CDC advised against mask wearing during the spring. The CDC hasn’t accorded itself well here.” The WHO has also not accorded itself well.

  6. The better option is just not getting on a commercial flight until the pandemic is over. A buff or cloth mask doesn’t give enough protection to the wearer. You need an N95 mask to filter out the aerosols…

  7. @James N — round with me for a week, come inside the rooms of patients with the scamvirus and call them out for faking their sickness. No need to wear any face diaper, just take your hydroxychloroquine, I’m sure you’ll be fine. Then go have a drink with your pal Herman Cain at the corner bar and have a good laugh at all COVIDidiots wearing face diapers out there; he is alive isn’t he? COVID is just a big hoax so no one can die from it, right?

    The only thing worse than a blind person is one that doesn’t want to see.

  8. C. Arthur, Thanks for a look at the real world.

    So often people who write in comment sections are either uninformed, angry, and/or scared. They would do well to look more closely at the problems that cause their angst. So thanks for your contribution.

  9. @C. Arthur…Reading is fundamental. I wrote scamdemic, not scamvirus. There is a clear and distinct difference. Of course, I assume you’re referring to the Covid virus that has never been isolated or proven to exist and is being confirmed by a test (PCR) that isn’t capable of detecting it.

    This whole scamdemic would be laughable if it weren’t so sad.

  10. @James N thanks for reminding me again why the Electoral College was originally envisaged as it was, to prevent truly uninformed numbskulls like you from determining the outcome of an election.

  11. @James N–“the Covid virus that has never been isolated or proven to exist and is being confirmed by a test (PCR) that isn’t capable of detecting it.”

    I have no idea what you are referring to here, I use RT-PCR tests everyday and can detect the virus just fine. The virus has not only been isolated, the gene sequence was already mapped and published in the scientific literature months ago. Your claim that COVID 19 virus existence can’t (or hasn’t) be proven is demonstrably false.

    We can debate what’s the best way to address the COVID 19 outbreak, the initial response by our political and medical leaders was less than ideal. There are arguments to be made for and against the public health effectiveness v economic damage of lockdowns and other policies.

    However, continuing the obstinate position that COVID is a conspiracy/fake/hoax in the face of the growing numbers of infected and dead people around the world is pure insanity!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *