A few months ago, when wearing a mask shockingly became a political symbol for some (watch the YouTube video embedded below), I said in an interview that I wouldn’t be surprised if refusing to wear a face mask on a plane becomes the next emotional-support-pet scam. I’m not sure how wearing a mask takes away your freedom when in reality it does the opposite. Just look what happened yesterday in Europe when the EU officially banned U.S. travelers from entering without a two-week quarantine. Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and a dozen other countries made the cut, but we didn’t, and that’s because we’ve completely bungled our handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
The resistance to masks is part of that, and sure enough, fake coronavirus mask exception cards are now a thing. They say in part, “I am exempt from any ordinance requiring face mask usage in public. Wearing a face mask posses [sp] a mental and or physical risk to me. Under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) I’m not required to disclose my condition to you.”
Fortunately, people are catching on. According to ABC News, “The warning which first came from the United States Attorney’s office in the Middle District of North Carolina pointed to the spelling and other errors in the card. The U.S. Attorney’s office says that the postings, cards or flyers were not issued and are not endorsed by DOJ.”
Via ABC News, U.S. Attorney Matthew G.T. Martin advised that people “do not be fooled by the chicanery and misappropriation of the DOJ eagle. These cards do not carry the force of law. The ‘Freedom to Breathe Agency,’ or ‘FTBA,’ is not a government agency.”
So if you come across someone busting out one of these coronavirus mask exception cards or flyers, know that they’re fake. Part of what’s so unfortunate about this development is that there are people who legitimately can’t wear a face mask, just as there are legitimate travelers that need to fly with an emotional support pet (so note that not every face mask exception card is necessarily fake; instead, know that this one is and that there are other fakes out there). Those that are faking it are putting those who are legit—and everyone else—at risk.
Want even more travel tips? Sign up here for the Daily Travel Tip newsletter! Enter your email address and check “Daily Travel Tip” to receive Johnny’s best tips in your inbox each day!
If you already subscribe to our weekly newsletter, you can sign up on the same page. Just fill in your email and check “Daily Travel Tip” on the same page. You’ll receive an email with a link to update your JohnnyJet.com preferences. On that page, just click the Daily Travel Tip box and Update Profile.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered. Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.