SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Some people are nervous about flying after a federal judge in Florida struck down the requirement to wear a mask in airports and during flights. Now, some airlines are trying to work with those passengers to come to a resolution.
At San Francisco International Airport, there’s about a 50-50 split of people masked and unmasked.
“You have to look at your own risk tolerance, your own risk factors and how much disease you’re likely to encounter,” said Professor of Infectious Diseases at UC Berkeley John Swartzberg.
A rare sight at the airport — many people now unmasked after a federal judge in Florida struck down the masking requirement.
“It shouldn’t have been made by a very inexperienced number 1, judge, who really was way out of her field,” Swartzberg said.
He added he doesn’t think it was the right decision, and some passengers agree.
Some airlines say they are now offering options — including refunds in some cases — for passengers worried about flying.
United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby said, “we are working with those customers to find another option, give them a credit, or if they just don’t ever want to fly again, (we are) actually willing to give them a refund.”
American Airlines CEO Robert Isom said “but like we do in all these events, we are taking a look at our policies and asking them to get in touch with our reservations office, and we will make sure that we accommodate them in an appropriate fashion.”
KRON4 spoke to passenger Bauline Rechu from France, and she says she will still be wearing her mask.
But passenger Marina Gavrilina feels differently.
“I stopped a couple weeks ago, even in the stores and I feel fine. If you do basic precautions and you do all the hygiene, you should be fine,” she said.
Dr. Swartzberg says it’s up to each person to weigh the risks and some people have to consider their risk more carefully.
“If you’re elderly, if you’ve got conditions that would really predispose you to a bad outcome like being immunocompromised, those are some examples of people that really need to weigh the pros and cons more,” Swartzberg said.
Dr. Swartzberg still recommends wearing a well-fitted mask if you’re worried about COVID while traveling. He also suggests being full vaccinated and having a booster shot.