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Airline cabins erupted in applause as jubilant pilots informed passengers they were free to remove their face coverings shortly after a Florida federal judge voided the Biden Administration’s mask mandate for planes, trains and buses.

Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, an appointee of President Donald Trump, ruled Monday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention failed to properly explain its decision to impose the mandate or follow proper rule making procedures.

Pilots wasted no time in letting pandemic-weary passengers know via intercoms that they could remove their masks – setting off sky-high celebrations in the cabins, Newsweek reported.

KSAZ-TV reporter Erica Stapleton posted a video on Twitter in which Kool & the Gang’s “Celebration” is heard being played over the loudspeaker.

“When you’re actually on a flight & they tell you the federal mask mandate is lifted for travelers. Lots of cheering from passengers on board,” Stapleton wrote Monday night.

Ben Dietderich, press secretary for Republican Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan, posted a short clip of passengers applauded a similar announcement from the flight deck.

“A wonderful moment mid flight on @alaskaair today!” he wrote.

Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, an appointee of President Donald Trump, ruled Monday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention failed to properly explain its decision to impose the mandate.
Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, an appointee of President Donald Trump, ruled Monday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention failed to properly explain its decision to impose the mandate.
United States District Court for
The pilot of the flight made the announcement on the loud speaker mid-flight announcing the end of the ban.
The pilot of the flight made the announcement on the loud speaker mid-flight announcing the end of the ban.
Brian Prahl/MEGA
Passangers inside LAX airport at first passengers moments after mask mandate is now lifted across all travel in the USA.
Passangers inside LAX airport at first passengers moments after mask mandate is now lifted across all travel in the USA.
Brian Prahl/ MEGA

“’Ladies and gentlemen, this is your pilot speaking. This is the most important announcement I’ve ever made. The federal mask mandate is over. Take off your mask if you choose!’” Dietderich quote the pilot as saying.

Passenger Rennie Cook posted a photograph of beaming fellow flier.

“They just announced on my flight the mask mandate for flights is over!” he said in a tweet.

Several passengers cheered and removed their masks immediately right after the announcement.
Several passengers cheered and removed their masks immediately right after the announcement.
Brian Prahl/MEGA
Passengers board the first flight where masks are no longer required.
Passengers board the first flight where masks are no longer required.
Brian Prahl/MEGA
Passengers who were mid-flight when the COVID-19 mask mandate was struck down erupted into cheers and applause.
Passengers who were mid-flight when the COVID-19 mask mandate was struck down erupted into cheers and applause.
Brian Prahl/MEGA

Passenger Logan Krengel posted a selfie aboard a flight from Las Vegas to Minneapolis.

“The only time I’ve ever clapped on an airplane. Cheers! Life is good!” he wrote using the username @DocBartender.

Another passengers, Martin Avila, tweeted that a “flight attendant just paused with tears announcing masks are optional. His counterpart walked up to him and said: ‘Its been two years of this, its going to come out.’”

However, some people took issue with the decision that travelers can ditch their masks.

Airplane cabins broke out into applause midflight as jubilant pilots announced over intercoms that the federal transportation mask requirements had been struck down by a judge.
Airplane cabins broke out into applause midflight as jubilant pilots announced over intercoms that the federal transportation mask requirements had been struck down by a judge.
Twitter / @renniecook

Scott Hechinger, a civil rights attorney, was traveling from Florida to the Big Apple on Monday when the judge’s ruling was announced.

“The decision is stupid and non-sensical. And outcome determinative. And it’s outrageous a single judge in one state can make national health policy,” he said in a tweet.

“But I’m currently dealing with the immediate impact of the decision. So not really in the mood to get into more,” Hechinger added.

He told Insider in an email that he found the decision “even more outrageous that it’s happening at a time when a new variant is raging and so many — including friends and colleagues, and their young children—are extremely sick.”

Hechinger added: “I don’t feel safe.”

Walt Ecton, an assistant professor of education policy, described his “very bizarre moment: On airplane, pilot comes on over intercom, announces the federal mask mandate is over, ‘so take your masks off and celebrate!’”

He wrote that “half the plane cheers/high fives. Other half stews, keeping masks on. A person near me starts crying, clearly worried.”

Meanwhile, Saskia Popescu, a biodefense professor at Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University, argued that masking up is important in enclosed spaces for lengthy periods amid an uptick in COVID-19 cases.

“We may want to be done with COVID, but forcing our way through it is myopic & frankly ridiculous,” she wrote.

Pilots wasted no time in letting pandemic-weary passengers know via intercoms that they could remove their masks.
Pilots wasted no time in letting pandemic-weary passengers know via intercoms that they could remove their masks.
Brian Prahl/MEGA

 “People are still getting sick, going to hospitals, & dying. We need primary prevention, like masks +vaccines. Personally, I’ll continue to wear a mask on airplanes & [public transportation],” Popescu added.

On Monday evening, the Biden administration confirmed that travelers can ditch their masks pending a review of the ruling.

“The agencies are reviewing the decision and assessing potential next steps. In the meantime, today’s court decision means CDC’s public transportation masking order is not in effect at this time,” an administration official said.

Several people have announced their displeasure that the mandate was struck down saying cases will rise again.
Several people have announced their displeasure that the mandate was struck down saying cases will rise again.
AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File

“Therefore, TSA will not enforce its Security Directives and Emergency Amendment requiring mask use on public transportation and transportation hubs at this time. CDC recommends that people continue to wear masks in indoor public transportation settings.”

Almost immediately, Alaska Airlines announced that masks would be optional for travelers and employees alike.

United Airlines quickly followed suit, announcing that masks were no longer required on domestic flights and select international flights, depending upon the arrival country’s requirements.

A passenger wearing a mask waits at the Covid-19 testing site at the International flights terminal of the Los Angeles Airport.
A passenger wearing a mask waits at the Covid-19 testing site at the International flights terminal of the Los Angeles Airport.
EPA/ETIENNE LAURENT

American Airlines, Delta Airlines, or Southwest Airlines — the three carriers with the most passengers pre-pandemic — also made masks optional on Monday night.

The chief executive officers of all the major airlines called on the Biden administration last month to ditch the mask mandate because the requirement did not reflect the current environment.

Source: NYPOST

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