United Airlines' mask mandate expands to areas in airports

Passengers wishing to board a United Airlines flight will have to wear face masks at ticket counters and in its airport lounges, or risk a flight ban from the carrier

United and all other major U.S. carriers require passengers to wear masks during flights. United said Wednesday that it is broadening mask requirements for passengers even before they board the plane.

On Tuesday, United reported a $1.6 billion loss during the normally strong second quarter, as revenue plunged 89% from the same period last year.

Air travel was slowly recovering before it stalled in the last few weeks as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. surged, especially in the South. About 530,000 people went through security checkpoints at U.S. airports on Tuesday, the lowest number in July other than the July 4 holiday.

Falling demand may lead to lower ticket prices. United CEO Scott Kirby told CNBC that he expects fares to decline in the short run.

Kirby and other United executives are expected talk about the company's outlook and the results from the most recent quarter Wednesday.