Last night I flew into Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and want to provide a few observations on the newly-reimposed mask rule at one of the nation’s busiest airports. In short: it was widely disregarded.
LAX Mask Rule: Disregard By Passengers And Employees
I arrived on United Airlines in Terminal 8 to messages over the loudspeaker reminding people to mask up. There were also signs noting that masks were again required.
But I’d put compliance at less than 50%…which is really a striking indictment of the public officials in Los Angeles County.
And it wasn’t just passengers: I was very tempted to take a picture of three unmasked United flight attendants standing in front of the sign above. But it was just too obvious…and I would not want to get them in trouble at this point in time. I also noted several gate agents who were not wearing masks. Nor were the TSA officers I passed. Or the LAX Police officers I saw in the baggage claim area. In short, the people who arguably should be “setting the example” were instead flouting the rule.
It’s an amazing lesson that the people will only respect rules when they believe those rules are rooted in legitimacy. At this point, people are so over masking up that they will no longer respect clear and umbagious rules. And clearly there seems no appetite to enforce such rules at LAX.
As an aside, I put on my KN95 mask when I stepped off the plane. I no longer favor masking, believing it should be up to each person. I’m also not a “sheep” who blindly follows government rules. But I am an old-school institutionalist, who believes that elections have consequences, public officials should be held accountable, but society is better when we follow the lawful rules of those we elect to power, either directly or indirectly. Don’t like the rules? Throw the bums out of office. It’s not unconstitutional for a local government to require masks. That is the prerogative of LA County.
That’s not really the point of this post, though. The point is that the re-introduced mask experiment at LAX is not going well. Passengers, employees, and airport officials are simply ignoring the rule.
Based upon my observations at LAX last night, it appears most people no longer have an appetite to wear a mask. For all the public polling that suggests the majority still favor the public transportation mask mandate, I certainly witnessed a different sort of consensus at Los Angeles International Airport last night.