American Airlines emphasises mask rules after photo of Texas senator Ted Cruz emerges

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – American Airlines said on Monday (July 13) it had reached out to US Senator Ted Cruz after a photo of the Texas Republican without a mask aboard an airplane was posted on a social media site.

Cruz, who chairs the Senate Commerce subcommittee on Aviation and Space, is seen in the photo posted on Twitter holding a cup of coffee without wearing a mask aboard an airplane.

Fort Worth-based American, which requires all passengers to wear masks onboard but allows them to remove them while eating or drinking, said in a statement it had “reached out to Sen Cruz to affirm the importance of this policy as part of our commitment to protecting the health and safety of the traveling public”.

A spokeswoman for Cruz, Lauren Aronson, said the senator “wears a mask when travelling, and practices social distancing where possible. Consistent with airline policy, he temporarily removes the mask while eating or drinking”.

She added he removed his mask to drink and put it back on afterwards.

The photo of Cruz was posted by an official with a Democratic party organisation. Another social media account posted a photo of Cruz on a separate flight wearing a mask.

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