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A4A: Airlines Pledge to Refund Tickets to Flyers who Fail COVID Screenings at Airports

New thermal tests at airports to help stem spread of virus by grounding passengers over any signs of fever

In a surprising move, given the drama in recent months erupting over proper refunds by airlines for COVID-related trip cancellations, some U.S. airlines are pledging to offer to refund tickets to for passenger failing airport thermal screening processes now in place.

That means anyone who is found to have an elevated temperature — as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines — during an official screening process at a U.S. gateway prior to boarding, will be eligible for a ticket refund as flying will not be an option.

Last month, Airlines for America (A4A), an industry trade organization for several U.S. airlines, and its member carriers announced they are supporting temperature screening measures for the traveling public and for customer-facing employees — and will do so for as long as necessary during the COVID-19 public health crisis. Last week, thermal cameras were installed at Los Angeles International Airport’s in the Tom Bradley International Terminal, commonly called “Tbit” as a beta testing location at the world’s third busiest airport.

Temperature checks are one of several public health measures recommended by the CDC amid the COVID-19 pandemic and will add an extra layer of protection for passengers as well as airline and airport employees.

In April, A4A’s member carriers announced the requirement of the wearing face coverings by employees and passengers throughout the journey — during check-in, boarding, in flight and deplaning. Last week, major U.S. carriers announced they are actively enforcing those face covering policies. In one incident so far, American Airlines ended up escorting a passenger off a flight for refusing to comply.

Temperature checks and face coverings are part of the multi-layered approach that airlines are implementing to mitigate risk of exposure and infection and to protect the health and wellbeing of passengers and employees.

Airlines for America (A4A), the trade organization representing several U.S. legacy carriers such as Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and American Airlines, announced that its members have voluntarily offered “to refund tickets for any passenger who is found to have an elevated temperature—as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines—during a screening process conducted by federal authorities prior to travel.”

Airlines for America (A4A) members include Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Atlas Air, Delta Air Lines, FedEx, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and UPS. Air Canada is an associate member.