Willie A. Deese College of Business and Economics

Mask-Wearing Behaviors in Air Travel During Coronavirus Pandemic– An Extended Theory of Planned Behavior Model


Significant growth in air traffic is anticipated for the upcoming years. While air travel enables efficient transportation all over the world, it also brings risks. Exposure to disease is an important one of them. Research shows that air transportation is a likely vehicle for the rapid spread and dissemination of infectious diseases. Some studies have been conducted to identify effective measures to prevent the disease from spreading in air travel during pandemics. While several measures such as isolation, personal hygiene, and public education were found to be effective, other measures especially mask-wearing and its effect have not been understood fully. Particularly, there is an important research gap in the understanding of the intention of airline passengers to wear face masks during pandemics.

The purpose of this study is to identify factors in mask-wearing behaviors of airline passengers onboard a flight. The theory of planned behavior (TPB) will be used for model development to examine the relationship between multiple constructs such as attitude, social norms, and control-related factors and the intention to wear masks in a cabin environment. A self-administered survey will be conducted to collect empirical data from airline passengers in the U.S. who had traveled during COVID-19 pandemics. A structural equation modeling approach will be used to quantitatively analyze the data. The findings will enhance the understanding of the major factors underlying passengers’ intentions to wear masks in pandemics. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings will be provided.

CATM Research Affiliate: Jing Yu Pan (ERAU: Lead)