Data Journalist

Air travel has been among the industries hit hardest by coronavirus. When Americans begin to fly again, they will likely see some big changes to health and safety regulations.

JetBlue is leading the charge on one of these changes by announcing that all passengers must wear face coverings beginning May 4. This is a step further than one United Airlines and other companies took when it required all flight attendants to wear face masks and gloves.

JetBlue’s updated policy is one that many can get behind and it may even win the airline more potential customers.

According to a YouGov survey of over 14,000 Americans fielded April 28-29, close to a quarter of Americans say they would be more likely to fly if an airline required passengers to wear face masks (24%).

Perhaps just as important for JetBlue and other airlines who may be considering a similar move, 26 percent of Americans say they would be neither more or less likely to fly. This data suggests that implementing a face mask policy is a low risk move and even comes with an opportunity to gain potential passengers.



Close to one in five Americans say they would be less likely to fly if an airline mandated its passengers wear face masks (18%).

The future is still uncertain for air travel but JetBlue sees this as a step forward to keep passengers’ and their crews’ health top-of-mind. “Wearing a face covering isn’t about protecting yourself, it’s about protecting those around you...This is the new flying etiquette,” said President and Chief Operating Officer of JetBlue Joanna Geraghty in a statement on Monday.

Face masks have soared in popularity among Americans in the last few weeks, especially after the CDC revised its guidelines to encourage the use of face cloth coverings in public places. The latest data from YouGov’s eight-week international COVID-19 tracker (commencing March 12, 2020) shows that 58 percent of Americans wear a face mask in public, up 53-points from the start of the survey.

Methodology: The survey is based on the interviews of 14,082 US adults aged 18 and over between April 28-29, 2020. All interviews were conducted online and results are weighed to be nationally representative. See the full results here.

Explore the latest public opinion polling on the topic of COVID-19:

Image: Getty

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