Travel updates − Travel information − American Airlines

U.S. federal law requires that you wear a face covering at all times while indoors at the airport and on board your flight If you refuse to wear one, you may be denied boarding and future travel on American. You may also face penalties under federal law.

These rules do not apply to children under 2, or if you have a disability that prevents you from wearing a face covering and meet the exemption requirements.

Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for more information about the mask requirement.

Requirement for face masks on planes and in airports Opens another site in a new window that may not meet accessibility guidelines.

You should bring your own face covering to use while traveling. While limited quantities of face coverings may be available at the gate, they will not be available for every customer on every flight.

Acceptable face coverings

  • A mask or 2 layered secured cloth that completely covers your nose and mouth and fits snugly to the sides of your face and under your chin
  • Face shields worn with a face covering, but not in place of one

These are not acceptable as face coverings

  • Balaclavas
  • Bandanas
  • Face covers with exhaust valves or vents
  • Face covers made of mesh or lace type fabric
  • Gaiters
  • Scarves
  • Ski masks

CDC recommendations for face coverings Opens another site in a new window that may not meet accessibility guidelines.

During your flight

  • Your face covering must be worn and visible at all times, including if you plan to sleep.
  • You can briefly lower or remove your face covering while actively eating, drinking or taking oral medication, but it must be worn between bites and sips.
  • If oxygen masks drop from an overhead compartment, remove your face covering before placing the oxygen mask over your nose and mouth.

Exemption for customers with disabilities*

If you may be exempt because you have a disability that prevents you from safely wearing a mask as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 USC 12101 et. seq) you must contact us at least 72 hours before you plan to travel and travel with documentation confirming a negative COVID test or recovery.

Please note, making false claims of a disability or a health condition to obtain an exemption from wearing a face covering may result in denial of travel on American for the duration of the U.S. federal mask requirement.

Call Special Assistance: 800-237-7976

These cannot fly

For the safety of everyone on board, some types of recreational / personal protection equipment are not allowed for use on our planes or in flight:

  • Face or full-body pods / tents
  • Portable electronic air fresheners / purifiers
  • Ozone generators


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