Tampa Airport Uses Free Flights To Remind Passengers To Wear Masks

When someone offers you a free flight, you know it’s always going to be too good to be true. So it was yesterday afternoon when Florida’s Tampa Airport sent out a tweet offering free flights. It may have had some people scrambling, but it was all a joke to promote mask-wearing in airports. It’s a worthy cause, but also kind of cruel.

Tampa Airport teased Twitter users with an offer of free flights yesterday, all in an effort to boost face mask-wearing in its terminals. Photo: Tampa International Airport

The tweet was short and sweet, “free flights” it said, and all nicely capitalized to grab attention. Scroll down and hit the fine print. Only joking, “but now that we have your attention, please wear your mask when you’re inside the Airport.” At least there were no pictures of satisfied Tampa passengers sipping negronis somewhere nice.

But it does have the media writing about Tampa Airport and the need to wear masks inside airport terminals, so the tweet probably achieved its aim.

Tampa Airport and the airlines serving all have mask-wearing rules in place

All the major US airlines and several international airlines fly in and out of Tampa. The busy airport handled 22.5 million passengers last year. In response to health concerns, the airport put in place rules regarding mask-wearing in June. Tampa City issued an executive order requiring all passengers and guests to wear face masks while at the airport in any capacity.

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Additionally, most of the airlines that fly into Tampa have rules in place regarding mask-wearing in airport terminals. United Airlines, who responded to the tweet with a cheeky “we definitely were not about to call our pricing friends once we saw this tweet…” requires its passengers to wear masks around customer service counters and kiosks, United Club locations, United’s gates, and baggage claim areas.

Tampa Airport has rules in place requiring all airport users to wear face masks. Photo: Tampa International Airport

Delta puts passengers on its no-fly list for non-compliance

American Airlines requires all passengers over the age of two to wear masks throughout all areas of the airports in which American operates. This rule covers both departure and arrival airports. Delta Air Lines has a similar rule. Delta has put around 250 people on their no-fly list after they’ve refused to wear a mask as per the airline’s rules.

“Although rare, we continue to put passengers who refuse to follow the required face-covering rules on our no-fly list,” Delta’s CEO Ed Bastian said in a memo obtained by CNN.

“It’s vital that we continue to stay focused on the drive to provide the safest, cleanest airports, aircraft, and workspaces possible.”

Delta Air Lines will put you on its no-fly list if you don’t abide by the mask-wearing rules. Photo: Delta Newshub

Keep yourself and others safe says Tampa Airport

The message is that Tampa Airport wants you to wear a mask while in the airport. The airport told Simple Flying most passengers do the right thing. For those few people moving through Tampa Airport who don’t have a mask, the airport has free masks available at the information kiosk in the main terminal. Branded masks are available for purchase at the PGA tour shop. Other retail outlets around the airport terminal also sell masks along with hand sanitizer and wipes.

Tampa Airport wants you to stay safe and the people around you to stay safe. Even if you’re mad at the airport for briefly raising your hopes of a free flight, then crushing those hopes without a care in the world, Tampa Airport appreciates you doing the right thing.