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US Airlines to Require Passenger Health Acknowledgement

At check-in, customers will need to provide assurances around face coverings, symptoms and exposure to COVID-19

Aviation industry trade association Airlines for America has announced that its member carriers are implementing temporary health acknowledgment policies and procedures for passengers prior to travel. The voluntarily move requires passengers to complete a simple health acknowledgment during the check-in process.

A4A member airlines Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines have either already implemented the procedure or have plans to add it.

The airline association says health acknowledgements will provide additional level of protection during the pandemic.

Typically the acknowledgements cover three primary areas:

•Face coverings – assurance that the passenger has a face covering and will wear it at the airport, on the jet bridge and onboard the aircraft.

•Symptoms – assurance that the passenger is not experiencing a temperature (100.4F) or higher), coughing, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, loss of taste or smell, chills, muscle pain and/or sore throat.

•Exposure – assurance that the passenger has not come in close contact with someone who tested positive or had symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 14 days.

The move comes as the global airline industry, hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic, ramps up efforts to reassure the public about health and safety measures. Even so, public health officials and politicians have decried moves by some carriers to unblock center seats  in economy class as demand for air travel increases.

In response last month, A4A announced its support for the Transportation Security Administration to begin conducting temperature screenings of the traveling public and customer-facing employees.

Thermal cameras have already been installed at Los Angeles International Airport’s in the Tom Bradley International Terminal to beta test the technology. And airlines are offering to refund tickets for passengers who fail the thermal screening process.