Another reason to regret an upcoming flight

I’m going to have to get on an airplane this weekend. I’m not happy about it, and Sun Country (which had the cheapest, low budget flight to Seattle) is not reassuring me.

Masks are now optional for all passengers and crew members onboard Sun Country flights within the United States. For international flights, masks are optional for Sun Country customers and employees, except where required by applicable governments for international travel. Please continue to bring a mask with you as required for international travel.
At Sun Country Airlines, safety is our number one priority, and we remain committed to maintaining a clean, healthy environment on board.

Why do they do this? They announce safety is our number one priority, while stripping all the health safety requirements from the flight. Isn’t it obvious that safety is not their number one priority? Is anyone fooled by this double-speak?

I’ll be wearing an N95 the whole way there and back.


  1. mathman85 says

    If it were me, I’d probably get out my full-face respirator mask and load in the P100 filters. Maybe even the high-end ones that can stop organic and other chemical fumes, as well, come to think of it.

  2. KG says

    It was probably all spam anyway, advertising tentacle enlargement (or reduction), opportunities to be paid 500 quadrillion galactic credits for the temporary use of your bank account by a Sqzzytfggyarbolian archquerdle, cheap insurance against your local star going supernova…

    Stanislaw Lem suggested somewhere that the search for extrasolar intelligent civilizations should concentrate on looking for three succesive signs of high technology: trash, noise, and spots. Trash being a ring of junk surrounding a planet, noise being the chatter of discarded AIs once the latter make up much of the trash, and spots on the local star as a result of the planet-dwellers getting sick of the noise and reprogramming the redundant AIs to plunge into it.

  3. nomaduk says

    I used to take at least one or two flights a year on trips to visit relatives. I haven’t been on an aeroplane in almost three years, and the thought of getting on one nauseates me. That, and the sheer horror of dealing with airports, security, passport control, etc, etc, etc, etc.

    Capitalism, the plague, and my increasing disgust at my fellow human beings have made air travel an almost unbearable thought.

  4. KG says

    My daughter-in-law recently had to make a 3-wek work trip to Canada – and spent the first week working from her rented apartment after catching Covid en route.

  5. TGAP Dad says

    It’s like this everywhere in corporate America – “safety is our number one concern”. And they keep saying it even after an FAA investigation reveals that it wasn’t. It’s been parroted by auto manufacturers, chemical manufacturers, dam operators, etc. ad infinitum. And it’s never EVER true. I worked as a software engineer for a large regional retailer who hired consultants (red flag #1) to give them advice on making the company more profitable. They conducted brainstorming sessions with the rank and file employees, who all concluded that “associate happiness” was their number one concern. Shortly thereafter the company decided the best way to accomplish that was to fire 30% of us.

  6. Akira MacKenzie says

    Why do they do this?

    For the same reason businesses do anything:

    1) Money
    2) Our capitalist government (Yes, even under your precious Democrats which love wealth and luxery as much as Republicans.) let them!

  7. d3zd3z says

    My last flight, maybe 5% of the people on the flight were wearing masks. I’m pretty sure I was the only one with an N95 mask.

  8. billseymour says

    My next reason to travel will be to New Jersey early in February.  I plan to take Amtrak most of the way, but I don’t think I’ll need to wear a mask when I’m alone in my sleeper room.  I’ll have an N95 with me and wear it everywhere else.

  9. silvrhalide says

    I’m thinking that “safety is our No. 1 priority” is just the legal disclaimer, like all the stuff they put in microprint on any product or service. It’s a legal fig leaf that is functionally meaningless. Also legally meaningless, as it will fall apart like tissue paper in the first real lawsuit. Any decent lawyer’s first question would be “and how did you prioritize safety over other priorities” at which point it will become blindingly obvious that safety was not a priority at all. Kind of like the BP oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. You know you are in trouble when the voice of reason is coming from Halliburton.

    I just got back from NYCC, wore an N95 mask the whole time–literally. So far, so good, don’t even appear to have picked up a case of con plague (fingers crossed). But the amount of planning that has to go into any trip in pandemic times is beyond belief. (Packed all meals, ate all meals outside. Happily, the weather was warm.) Yes, travel has workable solutions but they are generally so miserable that the payoff is seldom worth the aggravation anymore. And considering how badly NYC was hit by Covid 19, you would have thought far more people would have worn masks but I’d estimate less than 50% did. (No idea if filters were built into some of the cosplay masks; OTOH, anything that is an actual full head helmet might do the job anyway?)

    Hopefully, your flight is short and uneventful. The N95 masks make travel possible but not comfortable.

  10. charley says

    This is one of the reasons we drove roundtrip Seattle to Michigan for a wedding recently, I94 out and I90 back, 3 days each way, sleeping in a tent. I thought about you as we passed Fergus Falls.

  11. says

    Yikes, I couldn’t do that — I’ve got teaching obligations all week long. The only way I can swing a flight to Seattle is that it coincidentally falls on a 4 day weekend for us.

  12. rorschach says

    Depending on flight time and seal of your mask, oh bearded one, even an FFP3 may not be enough to not get on the bad side of infection statistics.
    Board last(the air circulation and filtering doesnt work on the tarmac), eat last after when everyone puts their mask back on, use Caragellose nose spray, and hope for the best.
    All those airlines that gave up on mask requirements are now in the news for mass flight cancellations, so there is that. But somehow they never learn.

  13. birgerjohansson says

    In Europe, the security theater is causing so long lines and so much disruption that I personally avoid air travel.
    High-speed trains are almost as expensive but the total travel time is not always much longer.

  14. magistramarla says

    We traveled to Texas in August for a family wedding. We were also two of the very few people wearing masks on the plane.
    The flights weren’t that bad, but security was a nightmare for me. I’m disabled and I have three metal pins in my back.
    That sent the TSA agents into full “Harass the Old Lady in a wheelchair” mode, especially the ones in Texas.
    My husband looked on helplessly as I was disrespected and manhandled.
    Because of his security clearance, my husband has permanent “Trusted Traveler” designation. Pre-COVID, when he presented his credentials and I presented my military dependent’s ID, the ticketing agent would simply stamp both of our tickets “Pre-Checked”. Not so on this trip. I got the feeling that the TSA agents got their jollies from making life miserable for the hard-working government worker/retired military officer and his disabled wife.
    Hmmm, I wonder whether they were trump supporters who shared his hatred for government workers?
    We both managed to avoid COVID, but I had my usual UTI that comes with traveling. Thankfully, I always carry AZO.

  15. magistramarla says

    birgerjohansson @14
    I LOVE those high speed trains in Europe.
    My husband bought the cheapest tickets, but we soon learned that we were always bumped up to first class when we checked in. The wheelchair transport and handicapped seats were all in first class, so that’s where they would seat us. It was so very refreshing to be treated with such respect as a disabled person.
    The trains in Japan are the same. If you are an older person, you are considered an honored guest. If you also happen to be handicapped, you are a VIP!
    I definitely live in the wrong country.

  16. says

    Some moron will probably complain about the masked bearded terrorist and demand you either remove the mask or be removed from the plane.

  17. ChrisE84 says

    A big part is also not wanting to pay people. Apparently there is more money made from better jobs than at the airport now, at least that was reported for Schiphol. (They apparently got away with it as many people stay even in bad jobs, but they let all these people go during the pandemic.)

  18. R. L. Foster says

    Mask up at the airport and on that plane. Covid ain’t over by a long shot. Last week I had my latest bout with Covid. This time it was the BA.5 variant. This makes three rounds in two years. BA.5 felt like a cruddy head cold — sore throat, runny nose, headache, joint pain, fatigue. No fever or cough. I was down for three days. Luckily, I had my latest booster on 9/8. Not a day too soon.