The White House mandated 'face-masks-on-planes-policy', is scheduled to retire on September 13th. But Aviation Expert Jay Ratliff is skeptical. "If we go through August with headlines about the surge of the Delta Variant, the President could say, 'Let's push it back.' He may say, 'Let's wait till Thanksgiving.' He may even say, 'Let's just wait till the end of the year!' "
Ratliff says it may be a deterrent for travelers. "Airline CEOs have come out saying, 'We don't want that extension. We believe the vaccinations that are in place and everything we have onboard the aircraft is enough. Let's get rid of the masks as of the middle part of September.'"
Ratliff says if it's extended - possibly all the way to the end of the year - it could increase problems for airline staff. Airline staff are still being harassed about mask wearing. "The CEOs see their staffs - from the ticket counter to the gate to on-flight attendants - get beaten up and harassed. They say, 'Let's get rid of the masks situation and we will get rid of a lot of this unruly behavior.'"
Ratliff says since the mask mandate, TSA staff have been assaulted 89 times.