Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization representing the leading U.S. airlines, announced that its member carriers are voluntarily implementing temporary health acknowledgment policies and procedures for passenger travel as an additional level of mitigation to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Health acknowledgments are another important way passengers can “fly smart” and do their part to help prevent the spread.
Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines will require passengers to complete a simple health acknowledgment during the check-in process. Health acknowledgements typically cover three primary areas:
- Face Coverings – assurance that passengers will bring a face covering and wear it at the airport, on the jet bridge and onboard the aircraft;
- Symptoms – assurance that the passenger is not experiencing a temperature (38C/100.4F or higher), coughing, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, loss of taste or smell, chills, muscle pain and/or sore throat; and
- Exposure – assurance that the passenger has not had close contact with someone who tested positive or had symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
Health acknowledgments encourage passengers to make an evaluation of their own health prior to travel. Passengers who fail or refuse to complete the health acknowledgment may be deemed unfit to travel and each carrier will resolve the matter in accordance with its own policies. This measure is expected to remain in place throughout the COVID-19 public health crisis.
“Health assessments prior to air travel are just one more important measure in our multi-layered approach to help mitigate the transmission of COVID to passengers and employees,” said A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio. “We want passengers to know that this is another change they should expect the next time they fly.”
A4A’s member carriers are also vigorously enforcing face covering requirements, as well as enhancing cleaning protocols and adjusting policies to limit onboard interaction.
U.S. airlines also encourage the traveling public to follow all CDC recommendations – including frequent hand-washing – for their protection as well as that of others.