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A line of people looking for their seats on the plane and wearing protective face masks | Adobe Stock

5 Types of Face Masks That Are Banned From Planes

Face masks on planes are going to be mandatory for quite some time, so if you’re planning a flight, it’s important to know what kinds won’t be accepted on board. Leave the cloth masks and gaiters behind and pack these types instead. 

Cloth Masks

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Although cloth masks are still acceptable on the majority of U.S. airlines, a growing number of international carriers are no longer allowing fabric masks―instead, they require passengers to wear surgical masks, FFP2, KN95, or N95s which are proven to be more effective at preventing the spread of viruses. Finnair, Air France, Lufthansa, and LATAM Airlines have all banned cloth masks in-flight. 

Instead: The shape of the Kimberly-Clark N95 Pouch Mask may make it look odd, but it keeps the mask away from your face and makes it more comfortable to wear than a cloth mask.

Masks With Vents

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Face masks with vents were originally designed for workers in industrial settings, but they’ve become popular during the pandemic. However, it’s pretty obvious that the vent defeats the purpose of a mask in containing viruses. The CDC advises against wearing face masks with vents, and airlines do not consider them to be acceptable face coverings. 

Instead: BYD Care’s surgical masks are breathable while still being protective. 

Plastic Face Shields

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Plastic face shields are permitted, but only if you wear a mask underneath that covers your nose and mouth as well. Pair a plastic face shield with mystcare’s surgical masks, which come individually wrapped so they’ll stay sanitary in your bag. 


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Bandanas offer almost no protection against COVID-19 transmission, which is why airlines don’t permit them onboard. 

Instead: This N95 mask has soft head straps instead of earloops, which will be more comfortable on your ears for long flights. 

Single Layer Gaiters

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Many airlines do not accept gaiters as face coverings onboard. (However, a few airlines, such as Southwest and Delta, will allow gaiters if they have two layers of fabric.)

Instead: A surgical mask with ties offers more protection than a neck gaiter but is adjustable for your comfort. 

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