Passenger Violates American Airlines Rules By Wearing A Space Helmet

A woman sitting at near gate E6 for American Airlines flight AA6151 from Charlotte to Fayetteville, North Carolina on Tuesday was wearing a ‘space helmet’ over her mask. Since there don’t appear to be ear loops on the mask, it looks like an N95. That won’t be comfortable on a Piedmont Airlines Embraer ERJ-145 50 seat jet, but it’s just a 118 mile flight. It’s unclear where she may have been connecting from.

If you’re concerned about getting Omicron, you recognize that it’s highly transmissible. And even though American Airlines wholly-owned regional carrier Piedmont led the industry retrofitting 50 seat regional jets with HEPA air filtration the airport itself won’t have nearly the same protective environment. Extra PPE while flying may be prudent.

However American, like several other carriers, has policies not just on what you have to wear but also on what you cannot wear, although these policies are often not widely publicized. Alaska Airlines kicked off a 75 year old passenger with a terminal illness over too much personal protective equipment. United kicked passengers off for wearing too much personal protective equipment and also kicked off a passenger over a versaflow mask.

American Airlines bans personal face tents, body tents and pods, personal air purifiers and ozone generators. These are considered ‘recreational equipment’ by the carrier.

You’re supposed to remove your mask before putting on an oxygen mask if one falls from the cabin ceiling. But having to remove a helmet first could cause it to take you to long, even more so if you need to place your own oxygen mask on before helping someone else.

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 »

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  1. […] For those of you who doubt the reality of Covid Derangement Syndrome – the syndrome that drives people to believe that every further reduction, no matter how small, in the risk of encountering the SARS-CoV-2 virus is worth whatever the cost of this reduction, no matter how large – take a look at this photo of a traveler at the Charlotte airport. (HT Gary Leff) […]


  1. AA did her a favor by refusing to subject her to their abysmal service…..she just didn’t know it.

  2. amazing how many idiotic passengers are out there to get their 15 min of fame on social media… they should stay the hell home as no one wants them on their airline.

  3. Looks like there’s some wire connecting the helmet to not sure what, some personal oxygen machine?

    Also appears to be wearing protective googles, like the kind worn by welders!

  4. Make no mistake that was the legendary Judy Jetson in her space suit an iconic television star and wife of George Jetson
    Shame on AA

  5. Isn’t she the ranking General for the US Space Force? Of course she is a joke, the whole US Space Force is one.

  6. Dwondermeant:. Everyone knows that George Jetson’s wife is Jane Jetson. Judy and Elroy are their kids. Get your facts straight!

  7. Flying commercial has become just like a jail sentence as far as how the crew (jailers) treat their customers (convicts). My spouse bows down to this HS resulting in separate vacations. She goes to Hawaii Igo to the range and practice head shots on blue targets

  8. Leave her alone, she’s bothering no one. No Pelican, she’s not seeking 15 minutes of fame. She’s seeking peace and safety. Whatever that means to her is of no one’s concern. United and AA suck. It’s her choice if she wants to wear it and risk the extra time it takes to take off in an emergency on the flight.

  9. If they can force her take it off. They can do more to make people wear the minimum. Otherwise its not really about keeping them safe is it?

  10. Nym, you make such a great point! I feel bad for flight attendants who deal with anti maskers but if they’re going to harass this passenger, then my empathy no longer applies! The responses on here show that bully kids stay bullies as adults. Someone is different and they make fun and pass judgment. It’s especially easy when they’re cowardly hiding behind a computer where their butts can’t be kicked.

    How do I only get notifications from this story and not all the new ones? Thank you.

  11. They’re more concerned about the safety of wearing a helmet on the off chance of a crash yet not at all concerned about anti maskers on a plane where the chance of an infected person(s).is very high. Loser airlines that we keep bailing out while they put us on faulty flights. Remember Max8 or 737 whatever it was? One crash wasn’t enough for them to take it seriously, they had to have more. These are the people concerned with a helmet

  12. Pat you need to opt in after you comment in every post you read.
    Check the notify boxes.

  13. Thanks Jorge, I’ve opted in for this one but unfortunately I’m receiving notifications for other another story from the same writer.

  14. In the event of a decompression the woman wearing a ‘space helmet’ probably wouldn’t be able to 1) overcome the initial shock, 2) remove her helmet, 3) remove her personal mask, 4) locate and properly position the mask hanging from the overhead panel to obtain life-saving oxygen in a timely manner. A decompression can be disorienting.

  15. Mememe,
    So she can sign something that says the airline is not responsible for issues arising from her helmet use. She can state she is willing to take that risk and they’re not liable. Considering some have survived plane crashes, this could help her. Regardless, she should be allowed to do what makes her most comfortable without endangering others. Most of these commentators don’t care about anti maskers who put them at risk, many are anti maskers to begin with, yet take the opportunity to say bullying type comments. Only losers bully. Winners are busy living their best life & don’t care what others do as long as it doesn’t endanger them. Those of you being nasty, you don’t know her circumstances to criticise her. She could have multiple co morbidities and be taking care of someone that has no one else. Not that it’s any of your business.

  16. American and JetBlue merger: be careful when booking on Jetblue mobile app, you may get put on an American Airlines Flight. Not sure why JB allowed this inferior airline to be affiliated with them.

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