Frequently asked questions about face masks & social distancing

Photo by Ingrid Barrentine.

Updated July 2

To keep our guests and employees safe and align with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations, Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air guests will be required to wear face masks and/or coverings starting May 11.

Guests will be expected to wear a face covering throughout any Alaska Airlines touchpoints and during the flight experience until further notice. Additional masks will be available, as supplies allow, for those who forget to bring one. Details about face covering requirements will be shared with guests in pre-trip communications before their date of travel. The temporary policy will be reevaluated periodically as guidance evolves.


Who is required to wear a face covering?

  • All guests 12 years and older are required to wear a face covering. Parents or guardians are strongly encouraged to provide a face covering for children ages 2 to 11.
  • Alaska Airlines employees who are unable to keep six feet of social distance will wear masks, including pilots, flight attendants and customer service agents.

Who is exempt from wearing a face covering?

  • Exceptions will be made for young children under the age of two, who cannot maintain a face covering on their own.
  • Guests who have an underlying medical condition (including the use of a breathing device) that prevents them from being able to wear a face covering in alignment with best practice guidelines from the CDC  or guests who are unable remove the face covering without assistance.

If a guest is exempt, how should they notify Alaska Airlines?

Guests are encouraged to communicate their exemption with an Alaska Airlines representative when they arrive at the airport. Note: In line with health privacy laws, guests are not required to disclose or prove their specific medical condition to airline employees and are asked to notify our airport staff upon boarding. Airport staff will inform the flight attendants of guests who have a medical exemption.

Where are guests required to wear face coverings?

Guests will be required to wear a face covering at all times they are near an Alaska Airlines touchpoint including the check-in lobby, Lounges, boarding gates, jetbridges, loading ramps and stairs, on the aircraft, during the flight (except when consuming food or drink) and at baggage claim. Usage is also highly encouraged in high traffic areas such as security lines, restrooms and other areas throughout the airport.

Are guests allowed to take their face coverings off to eat or drink on a flight?

Yes, guests will be allowed to remove the mask or face covering to consume food or drink during the flight.

What types of face covering are considered acceptable?

Face coverings should cover a guest’s nose and mouth in alignment with best practice guidelines from the CDC. These include but are not limited to scarves, bandanas, or other forms of face protection.

When does this policy go into effect?

This policy goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. May 11, 2020. It will be in effect until further notice.

Will Alaska Airlines be supplying face coverings for guests?

Guests should bring their own face coverings, but we will have face coverings available, as supplies allow, in the check-in lobby and boarding gates for guests who forgot their mask at home.

Will Alaska’s employees also be wearing masks?

Yes, Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air employees, and our business partners, who cannot maintain six feet of social distance during interactions with guests or co-workers, started wearing face coverings May 4. This includes pilots, flight attendants and customer service agents.

What if a guest refuses to wear a face covering at the airport?

If a guest arrives at the airport and refuses to wear a face covering, they will be denied boarding. If a guest is denied boarding, they can rebook their travel with one of our agents at the airport or update their travel online at or contact our Reservations team at 1 (800) 252-7522.

Has Alaska Airlines installed social distancing stickers at airports they serve?

Yes. We’re installing social distancing decals to remind people to ‘Mind Your Wingspan,’ at each one of our airports where we fly. The stickers, spanning 6 feet apart, can be found at our ticketing counters, baggage drops, customer service centers and gate areas. The Alaska branded stickers will be deployed systemwide over the coming weeks.

Can families or large groups sit together if they want to on the plane?

Yes. Families or large groups who choose can sit together by reaching out to our Reservations team at 1 (800) 252-7522 or to one of our agents at the airport. Additionally, First Class seat sales are capped at 50 percent. Read more


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