AUSTIN, Texas — A photo of Senator Ted Cruz not wearing a mask while on board an American Airlines flight is causing a stir online. Cruz was flying Sunday with one of American Airlines domestic regional partners. 

What You Need To Know

  • Ted Cruz spotted on flight not wearing a face mask

  • A spokesperson from his office said he took it off to drink, then promptly put it back on

  • American Airlines said it is reviewing the incident

American Airlines' policy says all passengers must wear face coverings on all flights. Some passengers are exempt from wearing face masks, such as young children and those with a disability or medical reason for why they cannot wear a face covering. Passengers can temporaily remove their mask while eating or drinking.

A spokesperson from Cruz’s office said he briefly removed his mask while drinking his beverage. 

“To help promote safety, Senator Cruz wears a mask when traveling, and practices social distancing where possible. Consistent with airline policy, he temporarily removes the mask while eating or drinking. Yesterday during his flight he removed his mask to drink and put it back on afterward. We should all practice common sense measures to slow the spread of the virus.”

American Airlines said it reviewed the incident, and released the following statement:

“For the well-being of our customers and team members, we require face coverings to be worn onboard, and we expect our customers to comply with our policies when they choose to travel with us. As we do in all instances like these, we reviewed the details of the matter, and while our policy does not apply while eating or drinking, we have 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.”