Since February, when the TSA first announced that everyone – except children under 2 and people with some disabilities – is required by law to wear masks on airplanes and at airports in the United States, the agency has had more than 4,000 reports Masks receive similar incidents, according to R. Carter Langston, a TSA spokesman.
However, only 126 people have been fined, he said.
While Mr Biden’s announcement could be departed from believing that airport TSA officials are responsible for fines inflicted on travelers, that is generally not the case, said Becky Esquivel, a TSA officer at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas and the vice president of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 1250, a union that represents government employees at 12 airports in Arizona and Nevada. Although TSA agents may ask people to put on their masks while checking their luggage at security, they do not have the option to issue a ticket to someone who refuses on site. TSA agents also don’t get on planes, where many of the most strained mask encounters have taken place.
“We’re not the masked police,” said Ms. Esquivel.
So who are the “masked police”?
It depends on where someone is when they are not wearing a mask. The federal mask requirement applies not only to airports and aircraft, but also to trains, buses and other public transport.
At airport controls, TSA agents are supposed to remind people to wear masks, agency spokesman Mr. Langston said. If these people vehemently refuse, the agent can deny them access to the gate.
It usually does the job of politely asking people to pull up their masks or cover their noses, Ms. Esquivel said, perhaps because it’s clear that if they break the rules at this point, they don’t go around their flight come.