Frequently asked questions about face masks & social distancing

Photo by Ingrid Barrentine.

Our commitment to Next-Level Care means we’ve implemented 100+ ways to maintain the highest standard of safety throughout your travels. The safety of our guests and employees always comes first, and we want you to feel great about booking a flight with us. Here are some answers to questions related to masks & social distancing:


Who is required to wear a mask?

All Alaska and Horizon guests (and our employees) are required to wear a mask over their nose and mouth at all times during travel, including throughout the flight, during boarding and deplaning, and while traveling through an airport. To keep our guests and employees safe and align with Federal guidelines, masks are required even if you are fully vaccinated.

Can someone be exempt from wearing a mask?

Exceptions will be made for children under the age of 2 years old; passengers with breathing difficulties unrelated to COVID-19.

Where are guests required to wear face coverings?

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

What happens if someone does not comply with Alaska’s mask policy?

Refusing to wear a mask is a violation of federal law and may result in denial of boarding, removal from the aircraft, and/or penalties under federal law.

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

While guests are allowed to temporarily remove their masks when briefly drinking or eating or when taking medication, masks must otherwise be worn at all times, including between sips of beverages or bites of food.

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 and must meet the following requirements:

  • A properly worn mask completely covers your nose and mouth.
  • Cloth masks should be made with two or more layers of a breathable fabric that is tightly woven (i.e., fabrics that do not let light pass through when held up to a light source).
  • If gaiters are worn, they should have two layers of fabric or be folded to make two layers.
  • Masks should be secured to the head with ties, ear loops, or elastic bands that go behind the head.
  • A mask should fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face.
  • Masks should be a solid piece of material without slits, exhalation valves, or punctures.

When does this policy go into effect?

This policy goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. May 11, 2020. And will be in place 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 while at the airport, 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.