Last month our CEO said masks don’t really help inside the cabin of airplanes. Then he tested positive and clarified his statement.
While SWA CEO Gary Kelly may have been attempting to tout our on-board HEPA filtration systems, which exchange the entire cabin air every 2-3 minutes, many of us flight attendants thought he was simply trying to protect us from being slugged in the face.
No, we don’t especially like it when you hit us. In 2021, the FAA reported 5,779 incidents of unruly passengers, with more than 72% of those mask-related.
However, even though they received a lot of media attention, the truth is those incidents were committed by a tiny minority of travelers. Since the FAA cracked down in January with a zero-tolerance policy including fines up to $37,000 and possible jail time, incidents are sharply declining and flying remains an amazingly fun and safe way to travel. But don’t just take my word for it, follow us on Twitter to see what other customers are saying at @Southwestair.
“I confused some with a short answer to a question about masks,” Kelly said. “So, to be clear, I and Southwest and along with [US airline lobbying group] Airlines for America are all aligned and support the current federal mask mandate at airports and on airplanes. We’ll continue to rely on the advice of our medical experts regarding the necessity of masks. And my apologies for any confusion!”
So, let’s all sing kum-bah-yah while wearing our masks over our nose and mouth.
Not only are we fully complying with the federal mandate, Southwest is innovating with the pandemic in mind. We now offer contactless boarding, open seating, no change fees, and a big sale to brighten your new year, with fares as low as $39.
Let’s face it, we’re all tired of being cooped up at home. So mask up and climb aboard Southwest, and discover a new destination that’s good for your soul.
And who knows, maybe we’ll even sing to you.