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This week I took my first (and second) flights since the end of the mask mandate. As I mentioned last week when I first talked about it, different airports and governmental agencies have made different rules. Most airlines are no longer requiring masks, but some airports and other transit are still requiring masks while others are not. I don’t share the following observations as any sort of judgment one way or the other, but more of just a report so that others who are traveling can be aware of the situation and make their own decisions. Here is what I observed.

Masks not required at Cincinnati / CVG airport

Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky Airport (CVG) dropped their mask mandate last week, so I was not expecting to see many masks in place at the airport when we got there. And that was the case for sure. There were a few people wearing masks – I would estimate about 20-25%. My daughter and I ended up not wearing masks for most of our journey through the airport but did wear masks as we sat in the boarding area.

Masks not required on Allegiant Airlines

Masks were not required on our Allegiant Airlines flight. Most of the flight attendants were not wearing masks, though one was. I would say that about 40-50% of passengers were wearing masks, including myself

a man and woman wearing face masks

I know that the filtration on the airplane makes it safer than most other places. It’s just something about being crammed in so tight with so many random people… :-). Though I was glad to have a mask on when the lady across the aisle from me started hacking, vomiting and then later escorted off the plane for a medical emergency.

Masks on NJ Transit and the NYC Subway

We landed in Newark (EWR) and took the best and cheapest way from Newark Airport (EWR) to Manhattan. Though I have taken the Air Train and NJ Transit train directly from the airport to New York Penn Station, this time we decided to try taking the 62 bus from the airport to Newark Penn Station ($1.60). I was planning on taking the PATH train from Newark Penn Station to Manhattan ($2.75) but realized that would take me into Lower Manhattan so instead we took an NJ Transit train to New York Penn Station. It was a little more ($5.25) but still eminently reasonable especially since kids travel free on the weekends.

Masks were still nominally required on all the transit options (at least according to the signs). Pretty much everyone was wearing a mask on the Route 62 NJ Transit Bus. When we swapped over to the train, I’d say about 20-30% were wearing masks, with a similar percentage on the NYC MTA subways.

Do I still need to wear a mask in New York?

In most places that I was at in New York, masks were not required and even in places where they were “required”, nobody cared or was wearing them. There were only 2 places where masks were required and enforced. The first was at the American Museum of Natural History. Masks were required, they had someone at the door checking them and pretty much 100% of the people in the museum were wearing masks. The second was at the Statue of Liberty.

(SEE ALSO: How to Buy Statue of Liberty Tickets (without getting SCAMMED))

When going through the security lines for the ferry to the Statue of Liberty, they had people checking masks and enforcing the wearing of them. Once you were on the ferry and on Liberty or Ellis Islands (even inside the museums, few people were wearing masks and nobody was enforcing anything. Everywhere else in New York, masks were not mentioned and few people were wearing them. Personally, we would generally wear our N95 masks when inside around a large group of people. Needless to say, even though I brought our vaccination cards, they were not checked once.

Masks at LaGuardia Airport in New York

Nominally, masks are still “required” at LaGuardia Airport (and JFK) based on guidance from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, but in practice very few people were wearing masks. I would estimate maybe 10-20% in the airport were wearing masks.

Masks not required on Delta Air Lines

Masks are no longer required on Delta Air Lines and, similar to our flight on Allegiant, about half of the passengers were wearing masks. One of the two flight attendants was wearing a mask and the other was not. We wore our N95 masks even though, again, I know about the HEPA air filtration on planes and how often the air gets cycled through.

If you’ve traveled recently, what has your experience been like? Leave it (respectfully!) in the comments

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