In September my wife and I flew to Barcelona to take our first cruise in almost two years. Chris put up a quick post with some of the videos of the two cabins we were in as well as a tour of the Epic Haven deck that is my absolute favorite space on any NCL ship.
We started our trip from our hometown airport SBN / South Bend connecting in DTW Detroit and lastly in JFK New York. Our first hop was uneventful. But on the next flight…
This guy. I mean dude – really? Here we are taking our 1st international flight in forever and doing everything we can NOT to get COVID and this guy does this.
I mean he had his mask either under his nose or off for more of the flight than he had it on. The only time he put it on was when the flight attendant walked by.
Now it is not like he was eating or drinking the whole time, but just did not want to wear the mask correctly. Considering the fact that if we got COVID we would not be allowed on our two week Mediterranean cruise I was more than a little bit put-off by “Mr. Karen” himself.
But what could I do? What would you have done?
- I could have asked the guy to please wear his mask properly, but the way folks are so short fused when flying I did not want to have an incident destroy my first trip in forever.
- I could have alerted the FA, quietly, that the dude was not wearing his mask correctly, but once again did I want an incident and maybe end up with something escalating and diverting (or worse)?
- I chose option 3 and pushed my vent in his direction and made sure my N95 was as snug as I could and just stewed about it both during the flight and after for a bit.
We have been doing the “mask thing” for two years now. We know how it works. But I have found, at least in Delta 1st class, that mask enforcement is just so-so (mainline as well as regional jets).
My question is what would you have done? Does it bug you when folks do not follow the mask rules? Have you complained when another passenger is not wearing their mask correctly? Let me know! – René
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I’d give them a silent thumbs up, and if they got away with it for a while I’d start doing the same, as it probably meant the crew is being semi reasonable.
Which means that you don’t care about the health and well being of those around you. Nice
Do you still believe masks stop the spread? Or quite simply, mind your own business. I don’t tell you what to do either. You can double or triple mask all you want.
@Ken – The rule to fly on an airline is wear a mask. Masks do stop the spread and it has nothing to do with belief – it is a fact!
There is a general rule to wear masks on airplanes. There are also exceptions to that rule. So not every passenger who is not wearing a mask is a reckless lawbreaker.
@Ken – Since this Mr. Karen was wearing a mask (sort of) he was clearly not one of those with any kind of medical exemption.
Please. If you don’t like the rule, don’t fly. If you don’t want to vaccinate, don’t travel. It’s that simple. You have all the power. Want to go to Paris. Vaccinate and wear a mask on the plane. If a store requires a mask it’s their property. They own or rent it. It’s not your right to defy these rules. Want to drive a car? Get a license. Same thing.
@Ken please state what conditions get an exemption from mask wearing. Because that is not accurate.
People seem to forget the point of masks are to reduce how many aerosols you’re spewing into the air risking other people’s health. They are not to effective at preventing many aerosols being inhaled. So it is other peoples business in a sealed tube.
@Natron it depends on the mask. That is why it is best to wear an N95 on an airplane. NOT cloth. Not even a 3-ply surgical mask. If you don’t have an N95 you can wear a 3-ply surgical mask (the blue ones you always see) with a tight-fitting cloth mask over that.
We all have to do our part to make this go away! If you don’t like the rules you can’t play the game.
The cloth mask is just fine given the high quality of filtration on a plane and the minimal chance or spreading COVID-19 if you are vaccinated. Masks will no longer be required soon anyway, with G-d’s help, and that will be a good thing.
SARS‑CoV‑2 isn’t going away, just like the other 4 circulating human coronaviruses aren’t either. If you seriously believe a virus widespread throughout the world and with animal reservoirs is going to “go away” if we just wear our masks a bit longer, you are completely delusional.
That’s why it’s great that N95 and KN95 are freely available, so that those at risk will be protected when masks are no longer needed.
I’d go see a therapist for my anxiety and leave people alone.
I mind my own (removed) business.
This happened to me on my business class flight from Miami to Cozumel. The guy came in wearing his mask below his nose, and I politely let him know it had to be above his nose. Another passenger joined in and he fixed it. The FA brought drinks and he he took it off, but never drank his water or ate his snacks. He fell asleep with it off. I’ve been vaccinated 3 times and have high COVID factors. When he woke up, I politely asked him to put his mask back on. Three minutes later, he still had not. I politely asked again, and he flipped out. He screamed at me to shut up and then to get the f*** away! The FA came over and I told him that my seat mate had not been wearing his mask and I had I asked him to politely. The guy told the FA I kept my mask off too long, and I said I only had it off to eat and drink. I really thought the guy was going to punch me. Next time I Will have the FA talk to any non compliant passenger as I don’t want to risk catching COVID from some non-vaccinated person! (He told me that.)
I was on a Delta flight from Milan to JFK. The woman behind me refused to wear a mask. She said she couldn’t breathe with it on. I alerted three flight attendants. She told them she couldn’t breathe. They just didn’t care. They offered to move me to a coach seat in the back of the plane from economy comfort. Everyone is stressed. I walked away realizing Delta makes flashy videos but just doesn’t care about our safety. I’m Diamond but will status match and take my chances with someone else. Safety is a big deal for me and my family.
If safety is a big deal to you and you refuse to follow the science (just look up the statements made by airline CEOs to Congress recently), maybe flying is not for you.
The only mask that prevent spreading are n/95’s of which very few wear or can even acquire. Studies have proven cabin air is relatively safe so I’d give the guy a thumbs up and follow suit. Personally I never quit flying during all this. When it all started it was great flying since there were only 10-15 people on every flight.
Happy Monday and safe travels!
I can relate. I’ve experienced this a few times since the pandemic started. Most are wearing their masks properly. Others are obviously being jerks about it. Some flight attendants enforce it, some look the other way. Only thing we can control is our own mask so I do what you did. Make sure my math is on tight , rotate the air nozzle and stew. Lol
I’m not commenting on this to try to argue about the masks on planes but I manage my “own” risk appetite. If I’m “that” afraid of getting sick from Covid I don’t fly, don’t go to the gym, try to stay out of Walgreens and I don’t go on a cruise. I usually try to ignore others on my flight as it is none of my business. Even if fellow passengers all wore N-95 masks and only took them off to drink and eat, you are going to be exposed. I really think taking photos of other passengers is in poor taste.
@DaninMCI – We blur kids photos on the blog. In public anyone is and can be photographed.
At this point in the pandemic I can’t be the mask police anymore. Last year I might have been more forthcoming thinking that people didn’t know the rules, Now, people who don’t wear a mask do it on purpose. Rude behavior on planes is much more prevalent and, although I’d feel frustrated sitting next to this guy, I’d hold it in and ride it out – don’t want to provoke an in-flight brawl that would delay everyone.
I’ve been reading this blog for about 11 years and have even been on a mileage run with Rene’ before but I have to unsubscribe. All of this finger-pointing and fear-mongering about “catching Covid” because of the way someone does or does not wear a mask on a plane is just too much. It used to be Rene chiming in periodically but now it seems his “fear posts” are occurring more and more frequently. The juice is no longer worth the squeeze.
It’s been a good ride and I wish the best of luck to you all.
@Wes – Sorry to see you go. I remember our run and it was really fun! I am about to cancel a MAD run that I would have taken this weekend and would have earned Diamond on 3 flights but it is not worth risk right now with all the COVID strains and folks not wearing masks as they should.
Yes, I agree with you on your comment! I’ve been flying since August of 2020, and I escalated my travels on August 2021 to achieve Diamond status. I wasn’t about to allow fear of “catching Covid” to detail my plans and my life. So, Rene wants to know what I would do?! Well, first of all, I would mind my own business, because it’s none of my business what people do!!! And if you don’t like what other people do with their mask, then please don’t fly. It’s very simple!
@René: I agree with you–both about the importance of mask wearing as the only responsible way of being part of civil society, especially while traveling, and the wisdom of canceling the wonderful mileage run to Madrid. I just did the same a week ago and it was hard–but the risks were not worth it. Keep up the good work–and standing up for important values.
@Bernard – Thank you!
Here’s my take. All I can do is wear my mask. I too travel a whole lot so I spend a good bit of my time on planes, and in airports, hotels, rental cars, and restaurants. I am vaccinated and boosted. The only person’s behavior I can control is my own. I have not been given any authority by any airline or the federal government to tell anyone to wear a mask and wear it properly. It is up to those in authority to enforce the law; not me.
Rene, I’ll be taking my first flight in 2 years next week to Canada as a trial to get back into the game. I figured that
would be a test prior to my MAD mileage run in early February. Business class travel was more comforting but the testing hoops that needed to be jumped were concerning. Interesting to hear that two of you are canceling your mileage runs reinforcing my feelings that I need to follow my instincts and do so as well. Still hoping that I can reach million miler status by year end.
You can’t and that is why the pandemic won’t end. Because there will always be selfish people who don’t care about the well-being of others, and can’t be bothered to where a mask.
It’s pathetic that just a simple task is so hard for some people.
Masks work, vaccines work. People choose not to believe it despite the overwhelming evidence of because they think it’s an inconvenience to them and not in line with what they believe.
In many cases of mask wearing, it seems like the petulance of a 5 year old or a toddler. Not sure what kind of political or social statement they are trying to make and if they know….
Fully vaccinated, boosted and flu..ed. I still observe stop signs, red lights and look both ways before proceeding and curse at those who don’t.
I’ve not stopped traveling during the pandemic because I enjoy it too much. I’m annoyed with the immature and wish some people would just grow up. I’d like everyone to survive.
Meh – his mask doesn’t fit anyway. I don’t care about this stuff anymore since I’ve been vaxxed and boosted. We’re all going to get covid at some point (probably multiple times). I also wouldn’t go on a cruise right now while the odds of getting covid are high (which would ruin the cruise). The time you went was probably lower risk and hey look, you were fine. The quicker they end all this testing for international travel the better.
“I chose option 3 and pushed my vent in his direction . . .”
Are you better off pushing the vent in his direction or at your own face? I do not know the answer, I am just asking. Delta states: “All our aircraft are ventilated with fresh, outside air, or air that is recirculated through high-grade HEPA filters, which extract more than 99.99% of particles, including viruses.”
It seems like you might be better off trying to breath air directly from the vent rather than inhaling the air that has been blown over him from your vent and his.
@Dave – You are likely right.
After a Google search I found this recent article:
“So, does using the individual air vents (gaspers) on an airplane reduce your chances of catching COVID-19? The existing research suggests that turning the gasper on does not have any significant impact on aerosol transmission risk and that air vents can continue to be used purely for individual comfort.”
We were all vaccinated for polio. In a civilized society you can’t go around posing an imminent risk to yourself and others. Unless you have a legit medical excuse, you should have been vaccinated and boosted for COVID-19. Fed mandate requires you to wear a mask while at an airport and while on public transportation.
It’s amazing how many people don’t wear masks properly and who use masks that are virtually useless because they are less than the gold standard N-95.
If you’re not masked, I’ll check the security of my N-95 but I won’t say anything to you. You’ve already made it clear you lack the intellect and the social intelligence to understand why the rest of us are properly wearing N-95s.
When a person is vaccinated against polio, they don’t take precautions to stop the spread of polio. They assume that they don’t have it. People don’t take any precautions to protect themselves against catching or spreading polio because they assume they and others around them are not at risk from polio. I’m not condoning law breaking but the whole point of getting vaccinated is to be in a position where you no longer are at risk from COVID.
To be honest I catch myself half wearing it sometimes. Especially on a 3+ hour flight. I feel as long as YOU are wearing your mask properly. The chances are less than if you didn’t have a mask on. I’m no saint but I typically wear my mask properly most of the time.
René, the lengths to which people will go do deny science are endless. Do what you can but be prepared for the most irrational responses for which there is no rebuttal. Your readers commenting here have made that clear. The fact that hospitals once again have been forced to cancel elective procedures due to the immense volume of patients with COVID-19, most of whom have not been vaccinated, should be all the proof anyone needs. The fact that live organ transplants have been classified as “elective’ by some hospitals because of the torrent of patients with COVID-19 should be proof positive but too many people are too self-centered to care. It’s that simple. One day, soon, I hope, we’ll have a cure. Until then, protect yourself just as you would from street crime. There’s little difference.
@Corbertt – You win post of the year! BTW my kind old neighbor (grandpa to many) died due to no icu beds for heart operation that could not be done.
Ahh the old deny science. Do you not even understand what science is? It is not an absolute, it is ever evolving. It is about asking questions, studying endless data and experiments. The people on here who keep saying “follow the science” etc, know nothing about science. If you recall the CDC and Dr. Fauci all stated “ the vaccine will stop the virus in its tracks, since once it reaches a host that has been vaccinated, it will die”. As we have found out via more information and data points, this is not the case.
Do people not remember how we knew the earth was flat, or when Pluto was a planet?
My favorite part of this article is the picture of the guy sleeping with not a care in the world, while René is freaking out taking pictures like a teenage girl. Classic
As far as I’m concerned, Pluto will always be a planet.
Me too. Haha
@Patrick – If your doctor performed an operation on you maskless – would you be ok with that? Maybe you prefer leeches vs science?
Thank you for proving my point with everything you just said. Doctors used to rarely wash their hands until Florence Nightangle and other doctors after learning from the data on death rates, implemented it. Leeches were used until more research and data showed that this was not a good practice. This is exactly what I was stressing. There is not nearly enough data on this virus, or the vaccine, or the use of masks to say “ fact” like you keep doing.
By the way, it’s not the mask that is protecting you from infection when under the knife. It is the drip of antibiotics they are pumping you full of.
@Patrick – Unfortunately antibiotics do nothing against a virus like COVID. But clearly masks help so…
N95 and better in a surgical theatre worn “correctly and NOT touched”…you can get on your soap box… The overwhelming MAJORITY of masks (worn on a/c) are cloth which what do you know, all of a sudden the media is now telling everyone offers no protection. For other types of masks, if they’re not a PERFECT seal and left untouched offer little to no protection. The insanity of people and their masks is off the charts! Personally, I only wear the damn mask when I HAVE to fly. If you feel safe wearing 1, 2 or even 3 masks more power to you. In the meantime, I could care less if you wear it correctly or not at all. Mass Psychosis… it’s not just a rumor.
It should be obvious that we do not and will not have unanimity of thought on masking. Mature people accept that others will have different opinions. The desire to “instruct” others on their obligation to protect you is a new and dangerous trend in our culture. If you are stressed by the masking behavior of others you probably should reconsider your travel plans.
I would not play the role of mask enforcer. I have continued to fly frequently and have seen varying levels of enforcement by Delta staff but for the most part I think compliance has been pretty good. I feel comfortable flying being fully vaccinated/boosted and otherwise in good health (most of my career has been in drug commercialization & healthcare so I’m very much I’m pro vaccine). But, I agree with some other posters that if seeing someone not complying makes you fearful for your health due to pre-existing conditions or whatever, perhaps don’t fly (or perhaps wear at least a fresh N95 mask so you don’t have to fear non-compliers as much). Most other passengers are probably wearing standard two layer masks that have been used several times, like a sports team logo mask. Those provide little protection. Hopefully Omicron is an indicator of a more typical viral lifecycle, i.e. more contagious but less virulent, and we’re headed to some extent toward a more manageable disease state (I’m an optimist).
I don’t understand how anybody in their right mind that is remotely concerned about the cooties is even traveling at all, unless it was for a medical treatment that was of significance. That’s the definition of hypocrisy and stupidity all rolled up in one for anyone that believes in the plandemic. In fact, by their own definition, the plandemic is not over now… so why would the author even be traveling except for selfish reasons.
@Lisa – This trip was to Spain in September. In Spain case counts we very low (much lower than USA) and Omicron was not around.
If I were not vaccinated, I would have told a flight attendant. That is what they are there for. Since I am vaccinated, I wouldn’t have said anything since, although he was breaking the law, his not wearing a mask was of little danger to vaccinated people, although the fact was breaking the law was obnoxious. Then again, most people don’t go around reporting people driving 35mph in a 30mph zone.
@Barry – Unless it is in a school zone I would now compare driving 5 miles over the limit to a virus that is crushing the planet.
On the flights I have been on the FA’s are policing the masks and also a designated person goes around in the lounges citing people or giving them another mask!!