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The judge’s decision to overturn the mask mandate sparks in-flight cheers from Airmen

The plane cabins erupted in applause as jubilant pilots told passengers they could remove their face coverings, shortly after a federal judge in Florida invalidated the Biden administration’s mask mandate on planes, trains and buses.

Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, a person appointed by President Donald Trump, ruled Monday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention failed to properly explain its decision to impose the mandate or to follow proper procedures for setting regulations.

Pilots wasted no time letting pandemic-weary passengers know via intercoms that they could remove their masks – sparking sky-high celebrations in the cabins, Newsweek reported.

KSAZ-TV reporter Erica Stapleton tweeted a video of Kool & the Gang’s “Celebration” being heard over speakers.

“If you are actually on a flight and they tell you that the federal mask mandate for travelers is being lifted. Much cheering from the passengers on board”, Stapleton wrote monday night

Ben Dietderich, press secretary for Republican Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan, released a brief clip of passengers applauding a similar announcement from the flight deck.

“A wonderful mid-flight moment @alaskaair today!” he wrote.

Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, a person appointed by President Donald Trump, ruled Monday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention failed to properly explain their decision to impose the mandate.
Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, a person appointed by President Donald Trump, ruled Monday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention failed to properly explain their decision to impose the mandate.
United States District Court for
The pilot of the flight announced the end of the ban over loudspeakers mid-flight.
The pilot of the flight announced the end of the ban over loudspeakers mid-flight.
Brian Prahl/MEGA
Passengers inside LAX airport with the first passengers, just after the mask requirement has now been lifted for all travel in the US.
Passengers inside LAX airport with the first passengers, just after the mask requirement has now been lifted for all travel in the US.
Brian Prahl / MEGA

“‘Ladies and gentlemen, this is your pilot speaking. This is the most important announcement I’ve ever made. The federal mask requirement has ended. Take off your mask if you want!’” Dietderich quotes the pilot as saying.

Passenger Rennie Cook posted a photo of a beaming fellow flyer.

“They just announced on my flight that the mask requirement for flights is over!” he said in a tweet.

Several passengers cheered and took off their masks immediately after the announcement.
Several passengers cheered and took off their masks immediately after the announcement.
Brian Prahl/MEGA
Passengers board the first flight that no longer requires masks.
Passengers board the first flight that no longer requires masks.
Brian Prahl/MEGA
Passengers, who were in mid-flight when the COVID-19 mask mandate was lifted, erupted in cheers and applause.
Passengers, who were in mid-flight when the COVID-19 mask mandate was lifted, erupted in cheers and applause.
Brian Prahl/MEGA

Passenger Logan Krengel posted a selfie aboard a flight from Las Vegas to Minneapolis.

“Only time I’ve ever clapped on a plane. Applause! Life is good!” he wrote using the username @DocBartender.

Another passenger, Martin Avila, tweeted that a “flight attendant stopping in tears and announcing masks is optional. The person opposite walked up to him and said, ‘It’s been two years, it’s coming out.’”

However, some people have objected to the decision to allow travelers to remove their masks.

The plane cabins erupted in mid-flight applause as cheering pilots announced over intercoms that the federal requirement for transportation masks had been struck down by a judge.
The plane cabins erupted in mid-flight applause as cheering pilots announced over intercoms that the federal requirement for transportation masks had been struck down by a judge.
Twitter / @renniecook

Scott Hechinger, a civil rights attorney, traveled from Florida to the Big Apple on Monday when the judge’s verdict was announced.

“The decision is stupid and nonsensical. And result-determining. And it is outrageous that a single judge in a state can make national health policy.” he said in a tweet.

“But I am currently dealing with the immediate implications of the decision. So not really in the mood to elaborate more,” Hechinger added.

He told Insider in an email that he found the decision “even more outrageous that it comes at a time when a new strain is raging and so many — including friends and co-workers and their young children — are extremely ill.”

Hechinger added, “I don’t feel safe.”

Walt Ecton, Assistant Professor of Education Policy, described his “very bizarre moment: On the plane, the pilot comes over the intercom, announces that the federal mask mandate has ended, so take off your masks and celebrate!”

He wrote: “Half the plane cheers/high fives. Other half stews, keep masks. A person close to me starts crying, obviously worried.”

Meanwhile, Saskia Popescu, a biodefense professor at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government, argued that masking indoors for extended periods is important amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.

“We may want to deal with COVID, but fighting our way through is short-sighted and frankly ridiculous.” She wrote.

Pilots wasted no time using intercoms to let pandemic-weary passengers know they could remove their masks.
Pilots wasted no time using intercoms to let pandemic-weary passengers know they could remove their masks.
Brian Prahl/MEGA

“People are still getting sick, going to hospitals and dying. We need primary prevention, like masks + vaccines. I personally will continue to wear a mask on planes & [public transportation]’ added Popescu.

On Monday night, the Biden administration confirmed travelers can remove their masks pending a review of the ruling.

“The agencies are reviewing the decision and evaluating possible next steps. Meanwhile, today’s court decision means the CDC’s public transit masking order is not currently in effect,” an administration official said.

Several people have expressed their displeasure that the mandate has been lifted and said cases will start to rise again.
Several people have expressed their displeasure that the mandate has been lifted and said cases will start to rise again.
AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, file

“As such, the TSA will not be enforcing its safety guidelines and emergency amendments mandating the use of masks on public transit and transportation hubs at this time. CDC recommends that people continue to wear masks on public transit.”

Almost immediately, Alaska Airlines announced that masks would be optional for travelers and employees alike.

United Airlines quickly followed suit, announcing that masks would no longer be required on domestic flights and select international flights, depending on arrival country requirements.

A passenger wearing a mask waits at the Covid-19 testing site at Los Angeles Airport International Flight Terminal.
A passenger wearing a mask waits at the Covid-19 testing site at Los Angeles Airport International Flight Terminal.
EPO/ETIENNE LAURENT

American Airlines, Delta Airlines or Southwest Airlines – the three airlines with the most passengers before the pandemic – also made masks optional on Monday night.

The chief executives of all major airlines last month urged the Biden administration to abandon the mask mandate because the requirement did not reflect the current environment.

https://nypost.com/2022/04/19/judges-decision-to-void-mask-mandate-prompts-mid-flight-cheers-among-fliers/ The judge’s decision to overturn the mask mandate sparks in-flight cheers from Airmen

JACLYN DIAZ

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