The reaction to a move by air carriers to do away with mask requirements for travelers drew strong reaction for many on social media Monday.
Within hours of the ruling, several air carriers, including Southwest Airlines, American Airlines and United Airlines relaxed their mask rules for domestic flights.
Ben Dietderich, the press secretary for Republican U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan of Alaska, captured the moment an Alaska Airlines pilot announced the rollback.
"Ladies and gentlemen, this is your pilot speaking. This is the most important announcement I’ve ever made," the pilot said in video footage of the announcement. "The federal mask mandate is over. Take off your mask if you choose!"
"A wonderful moment mid flight on @alaskaair today!" Dietderich wrote.
Passengers on the flight can be heard clapping and cheering.
"NICE JOB!!!! I've traveled less due to masks, I will book more trips now!" one Twitter user commented in response to the airline's move.
"It just happened. I’m in Florida about to board a flight to LaGuardia. And over the loudspeaker: "Attention all Jet Blue customers. We just received word," civil rights attorney and public defender Scott Hechinger tweeted. "The mask mandate has been lifted! Feel free to board your flights without masks. A loud, sustained cheer just erupted."
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, said airline employees and passengers "deserve to have this misery end."
While many appeared to embrace the news, some on social media expressed disappointment.
"So Covid no longer exists? Obviously safety of your customers isn't a concern for you anymore...how long before you cut back on maintenance now because it's "optional?" one person tweeted.
Others felt the airline should still require masks be worn on flights given to uptick in COVID-19 cases.
Masks have been a huge point of contention for airline passengers and have led to multiple violent confrontations between travelers and flight crews.