I’ve had multiple readers send in comments lately, like this one from Sandy M. “Interesting story on OGG to HNL (here’s the trip report). Wondering why your family isn’t wearing masks on the plane. Not that it’s really any of my business but I was just surprised by the photo. Also Southwest is now a big inter island competitor with Hawaiian. Not sure how fares compare, but I know Hawaiian definitely lowered theirs once Southwest began operating there.” RELATED: President Biden Tries to Unite Americans By Criticizing Travel ‘Junk Fees’ in His State of the Union Address

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If you’re a longtime reader, then you know that I took Covid-19 and the pandemic very seriously. Some might even say we played it too safe but I wasn’t taking any chances since I have two little kids. My daughter was an infant when the pandemic began and my uncle was one of the early ones to succumb to the nasty virus back in March of 2020.

I went from getting on a plane every week to not flying for over 14 months and like many, I cleared my calendar and did my part by wearing a mask and getting vaccinated. We even kept my son home from preschool for a year.

My family and I went from bouncing around the world to bouncing around our house in Los Angeles. I’m not complaining because it was an incredible bonding time with my wife and kids. I just felt bad for those less fortunate and for our elders, especially my now 94-year-old dad, who I used to fly to see every three weeks in South Florida and my mother-in-law, who would either come visit us or we would visit her in Toronto every two to three months. Those trips all stopped.

My wife and I wore masks pretty much whenever we went out in public up until my son’s first day of kindergarten in August 2022. My sister, who lives in Florida, thought I was a California freak that it took that long for us to lose our masks.

I figure there are so many germs in kindergarten and no one is wearing a mask, that a plane is probably a safe haven thanks to their filtration system.

In response to Sandy’s questions: Interisland airfares are indeed similar and now can be had for about $39 each way if you plan in advance and snag a sale. But between Southwest Airlines (SWA) and Hawaiian Airlines, I prefer Hawaiian (even though you have to pay for checked bags) because they’re more reliable (especially after their Christmas meltdown) and their service is better.

BTW: Here’s How to Save 40% on Hawaiian Airlines Baggage Fees (And It Doesn’t Require Getting a Credit Card)

I also told Sandy that we were all sick with Covid and other viruses in December and again, the kids’ school probably has more germs than an airplane. But I still travel with my Wynd air purifier. I put it next to my youngest who is not vaccinated and it’s an amazing device. I credit it for us not getting sick this past summer when we flew Dallas to Los Angeles and a little kid (he was probably only two years old) a row behind us seriously coughed the entire flight. It wasn’t one of those little coughs either. It was a deep, downright scary one and of course, he never covered his mouth. Everyone near us winced each time he opened his mouth and I just prayed the Wynd would work its magic and … it did. Here’s more on it. FYI: Use promo code “JOHNNYJET” to get 10% off your Wynd personal air purifier.

I’ve flown with it over a dozen times on a variety of airlines including American, Envoy, Hawaiian and United and have never had a problem using it. In fact, I’ve had multiple flight attendants ask me about it and remark that they would like to have one as well.

Bottom line: When the mask mandate was in effect, I complied 100%. Now that it’s over, it’s every individual traveler’s personal choice to make. We continued wearing masks until we were comfortable not to. But as pilots say in their pre-departure announcement, whether you wear a mask or not, please respect your seatmate’s choice.


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7 Comments On "Why I Don't Wear a Mask on Airplanes Anymore"
  1. Patrick|

    Nicely put… “whether you wear a mask or not, please respect your seatmate’s choice.”

  2. Marlin|

    I think masks mostly just made people feel safe, that it’s about it. I took mine off any chance I could. Never once had COVID that I know of (I am suspicious I did have it in hindsight, but at the time I didn’t think so because everyone made COVID sound so bad that I didn’t think I did). My immune system is very strong (even though I have been through chemotherapy treatments), and I think it’s because I don’t try to avoid germs. There is a lot of evidence that avoiding germs weakens the immune system.

  3. Buzzy Gordon|

    I don’t see any kind of small, portable air purifier on the Wynd site using the link you provided.
    What does it even look like?

  4. Donald Wolff|

    Sorry can’t agree with your choice. Unfortunately nearly everyone does not wear a mask anymore. My brother caught Covid on an airplane just about a month ago. The planes filter system is not 100%. If your seatmate is spewing out covid and you don’t know it, and you’re sitting there sucking it in for hours, what’s gonna happen? And we get to where “your choice” affects others who don’t agree with you. And to the comment that masks don’t do anything – you are uneducated. An N95 mask is very helpful. Been wearing on since the pandemic started and I haven’t had Covid.

    1. Johnny Jet|

      I 100% agree with you on all points. The main reason why we didn’t wear one is because we all just had Covid so we have some immunity for a few weeks. I should’ve made that more clear

  5. Donald Wolff|

    Makes sense then. I would do the same. Thanks for clarifying,

  6. Marlin|

    Did you see this “new” report by the Chochrane Library? https://chicago.suntimes.com/columnists/2023/2/8/23591132/cdc-exaggerated-evidence-supporting-mask-mandates-column-jacob-sullum

    I say “new” because they more or less had the same results back in 2020 but were pressured by political groups to not publish the report.

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