JetBlue becomes first airline to require passengers to wear masks

JetBlue on Monday became the first airline to announce that all passengers will have to wear a face covering on flights.

Starting May 4, passengers will be required to wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth during the duration of each flight and also during check-in, boarding and deplaning, according to a JetBlue statement.

"We are also asking our customers to follow these CDC guidelines in the airport as well," said Joanna Geraghty, the airline's president and chief operating officer. “Wearing a face covering isn’t about protecting yourself; it’s about protecting those around you.”

The airline has already started requiring flight crew members to wear face coverings on the job.

JetBlue customers will be reminded by email and at the airport to wear a mask. Small children who can't keep a mask on are exempt.

Since late March, JetBlue has reduced the number of seats available on flights so that passengers and crew are able to spread out.