WACO, Texas — After a federal ruling, airline passengers now have the option to fly without a mask for the first time in over two years.
On Monday, a federal judge ruled the CDC mask requirement on airplanes and in public transportation settings unlawful.
Airports across Texas, including Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin-Bergstrom, Waco, and Killeen followed the federal ruling, dropping mandates inside their terminals.
The majority of passengers inside Waco Regional Airport on Tuesday afternoon took advantage of the now-dropped mask mandate.
"I can breathe...naturally," one passenger said.
"Oh..so nice. Way nicer. I hate the stupid muzzle," said another.
Face masks will no longer be required for our customers and team members at U.S. airports and on domestic flights (though there may be some exceptions based on local or country requirements). https://t.co/GT1lZq5TAf— americanair (@AmericanAir) April 19, 2022
American Airlines, which services Waco Regional, is one of the many major airlines to rescind its mask mandate on Monday. Still, some passengers are erring on the side of caution.
"I feel like it's very sudden," passenger Angelica Lopez said. "I don't feel any different than I did yesterday when I intended to wear a mask and had no intentions to not wear a mask."
Lopez also said she supports everyone being able to choose whether or not to wear a mask.
"It's just something that kind of came to me as a shock," she said.
The Department of Justice may appeal the ruling if the CDC declares masks still necessary.