While state and local ordinances are beginning to ease up on mask restrictions, the CDC has orders in place that must be followed by all U.S. airports.  The order requires face masks to be worn by all travelers (which includes all passengers and personnel). People must wear masks covering both the mouth and nose while awaiting, boarding, disembarking, or traveling on all forms of public transportation in the United States and U.S. territories. People must also wear masks while at transportation hubs -e.g., airports, and other locations where people board public transportation in the United States and U.S. territories. You can learn more about the CDC requirement at Requirement for Face Masks on Public Transportation Conveyances and at Transportation Hubs

Credits, masks, and testing by airline

Newly vaccinated travelers with looming airline credit expirations are excited to take to the skies once again. The eagerness is understandable with so many trips canceled over the past year. Customers have no shortage of questions as they navigate the new (masked) face of airline travel. The following information touches on how to use credits, mask usage, testing, and whether or not proof of vaccination is required. Links to iFlySun airlines’ websites are provided for more detailed information.

Alaska

Credits 

Credit certificates must be applied to the purchase of a new ticket before the expiration date passes. Travel can take place up to 11 months later, but the ticket must be purchased with the credit or funds before the expiration date. Travel can take place after the expiration date. Credit certificate terms and conditions – Mileage Plan.

Masks  

Even if you have been vaccinated, masks are still required while traveling on airlines and public transportation. Alaska Airlines follows the Dept of Transportation mask policy requiring the wearing of masks by all travelers two and older. Masks can not have direct exhaust valves. Disposable medical and cloth masks are acceptable under the airline’s policy. See more at No mask, no travel policy, and Transporation.gov FAQ

COVID-19 test before flying 

Depending on the country or state you are flying to a  COVID-19 test may be required. Be sure to do your research when booking your flight.

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination 

Proof of vaccination may be required depending on where you have been and where you are going. Learn more at Destinations | Travelers’ Health and Domestic Travel During COVID-19

For a list of Alaska’s 10 Qs you might have about traveling again: 10 Qs- Alaska Airlines BlogSee more at Important travel information or www.alaskaair.com

Delta

Credits  

If you had a SkyMiles account associated with your booking when you canceled your flight, you can find your eCredit by logging in to your profile. Otherwise, visit  How to Use Your eCredit. Currently, eCredits are good for one year.

Masks 

Even if you have been vaccinated, masks are still required. Delta Airlines follows the/Dept of Transportation mask policy requiring the wearing of masks by all travelers two and older. Delta prohibits the use of bandanas or scarves in place of face masks. All passengers are required to wear disposable or cloth face masks without valves, slits, or holes. Gaiters are permitted with at least two layers. See more at Face Masks and Transporation.gov FAQ

COVID-19 test before flying 

Yes, for entry into the United States US COVID-19 Testing Entry Requirements  Be sure to do your research when booking your flight

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination 

Proof of vaccination may be required depending on where you have been and where you are going. Learn more at Destinations | Travelers’ Health and Domestic Travel During COVID-19

Important travel information at www.delta.com

United

Credits 

Flight credit must be used for travel within 12 months of the date the original ticket was issued. Future flight credit for tickets issued between May 1, 2019 – March 31, 2021, is valid for travel commencing on or before March 31, 2022. Travel credit | Policies

Masks

Even if you have been vaccinated, masks are still required. Delta Airlines follows the Dept of Transportation mask policy requiring the wearing of masks by all travelers two and older. Masks cannot have vents or openings. Bandanas are acceptable and a face mask is still required with a face shield. Learn more at  What to expect when you fly – United Airlines and Transporation.gov FAQ

COVID-19 test before flying  

Yes, for entry into the U.S. What to expect when you fly – United Airlines Be sure to do your research when booking your flight

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination 

Proof of vaccination may be required depending on where you have been and where you are going. Learn more at Destinations | Travelers’ Health and Domestic Travel During COVID-19 and What to expect when you fly – United Airlines

Important travel information at www.united.com

Global requirements: Destinations | Travelers’ Health

State requirements: Domestic Travel During COVID-19

Tips to consider when booking your flight using points: 

  • Redeem miles before they expire- stay on top of expiration dates
  • When searching flights don’t forget to include your airline’s alliances- or partner flights
  • Sometimes when trying to book with a partner airline it might require a phone call to the parent airline
  • Keep an eye out for limited-time deals. If they fit in with your travel dates it’s best to grab them while you can
  • Don’t wait to book- seats can be gone within a couple of days
  • Be flexible with your travel dates
  • Search different routes over several different dates- even months if possible. The range of mileage pricing can vary. Investing some time to find the most cost-effective time to use miles can be well worth the effort 
  • Always ask if you are unsure- Points you have might be transferable to another airline’s mileage program. Some reward programs will transfer, saving you thousands of miles
  • Before transferring points to any program make sure there is award space. Keep in mind that not all point transfers are instantaneous. Space may not be available if it takes a few days for the transfer to go through.