How to become BFFs with your mask before you fly

Photo by Ingrid Barrentine

Updated August 5:

It can be hard for some people to wear a cloth mask or face covering at first, especially for a long period of time. However, the Center for Disease Control recommends everyone wear a cloth face mask in public where it may be difficult to maintain social distance. Plus, it’s required when you fly on Alaska Airlines.

You may be anxious about wearing one while you travel, but we’ve got you covered with some suggestions that will help you get used to wearing your mask. You might even become BFFs (best flying friends).

The opportunities are endless

Feeling creative? Make your own no-sew mask at home in 6 easy steps.

Masks come in all shapes and sizes, straps and colors to represent your personality. Like clothes, the first pick may not always be a winner so we recommend trying out different styles before you fly.

The key is to find something that covers your nose and mouth. Your mask should NOT be leaking air (especially around the bridge of your nose and cheeks). It should feel snug and also comfortable around your ears. The biggest pain point we hear is ear irritation, which most likely means the mask might be too tight or the straps need to be adjusted.

Find your perfect match

Before buying a ton of different masks to find your BFF, we recommend taking measurements of your facial structure at home to figure out your exact mask size. Here’s one way to do it:

Find a ruler or measuring tape to measure your face from the bridge of your nose (which is usually just below your eye line) to the indent on your chin (just below your bottom lip). It may be helpful to have someone assist you.

Match your measurements with the average mask sizes below:
Small 3 to 3.5 inches
Medium 3.5 to 4 inches
Large 4 to 4.5 inches
X-Large 4.5+ inches

Test the waters

To extra prepare, test out wearing your mask at home for the same amount of time as your flight and time it will take to travel at the airport. Nowadays, it is required to wear a mask while traveling through the airport and on Alaska Airlines.

Take them on a lunch date

Practice placing your mask on a clean paper towel or napkin before taking a drink or eating (pro tip: the exterior of the mask should be face down with the ties placed away from the inside). Or, store your mask in a clean paper bag. Don’t forget to use proper hand hygiene before putting on and taking off your mask.

Remember to freshen up

After use, it’s recommended to give your mask a good wash to clean the dirt and oil from your skin that gets trapped in your mask, which can lead to breakouts (nobody wants mask-ne). We’ve heard the best choice of cloth that can be washed multiple times is anything 100% cotton. It is effective, yet gentle on the skin. And you can also add your favorite spritz of perfume/cologne or essential oil to give it a nice lasting fragrance. Directions: How to wash cloth face coverings.

Don’t lie about your BFF

As part of a final warning, this yellow card could be issued to a guest who repeatedly refuses to wear a mask or face covering on our aircraft. Learn more

As of August 7, all Alaska passengers will be required to wear a cloth mask or face covering over their nose and mouth (except for children under the age of two) – with no exceptions.

Don’t be caught neglecting your mask or pretending to wear one when a flight attendant walks by, only to then remove it. Lying is not nice nor safe and if you don’t comply with the rules, expect a yellow card (not the type of card you hope for).

How NOT to treat them

  • Do not wear your mask under your mouth.
  • Do not pull your mask under your chin, even to drink.
  • Do not wear your mask on your elbow.
  • Do not hang your mask from one ear.

We want you & your BFF to have a great flight with us — mask up!

Alaska employees look forward to seeing you with your mask and promise to take the best care of you during your travels. Rest assured, we’ve thought of every step of the way to ensure you have a safe flight. Read more about our Next-Level Care.

Stay safe!