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RALEIGH N.C. (WNCN) – Travel demand is back in full force, and so is wearing a mask while flying for at least another three and a half weeks.

Indoor mask mandates have dropped in Wake, Durham and Orange counties, as well as many school districts statewide, but if you want to fly, the TSA is still mandating masks.

“Do I bring a mask? Do I not? So I always keep it in my back pocket just in case,” Raleigh-Durham International Airport traveler Ross Morey said. “I feel comfortable going to like a store or just downtown, but in an airport, because there (are) so many people coming from all over, I think I feel safer with it on.”

Both the federal mask mandate and testing requirements for international travelers have been extended to April 18.

This week, CEOs for 10 major airlines, including Delta, American and United, wrote a letter to the Biden administration, calling for an early end to these restrictions.

Traveler Jennifer Brown agrees.

“It’s our choice at this point, I understood it at the time,” Brown said, referring to when masks were required early on in the pandemic.

Masks or no masks, tests or no tests, travelers at RDU say restrictions aren’t stopping them from taking to the skies this year.

“Once it was safe to get back on them (planes), I’ve been on planes – and I live in Connecticut (so) in the summer, it hasn’t stopped me,” Brown said.

RDU is reporting a 128-percent increase in passengers during February of this year, as compared to last.

Meanwhile, the airport is expanding operations for airlines such as Frontier, as well as bringing in more international flights.

But so far, all passengers will still be awaiting word on whether or not, by choice or not, they’ll have to wear a mask on flights.  

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