United Requiring Coronavirus Health Screening For Passengers During Check-in

From Biz Journal

United Airlines is requiring passengers to complete a health self-assessment during the check-in process to screen for coronavirus symptoms.

The Chicago-based airline said it is asking customers to complete a "Ready-to-Fly" checklist, which asks them to confirm they have not experienced Covid-19-related symptoms in the 14 days prior to flying. 

"The health and safety of our customers and employees is our highest priority, and we have been working closely with trusted medical experts and partners to institute new practices and procedures to further protect those who work and travel with us," Pat Baylis, United's corporate medical director, said in a statement. "United's 'Ready-to-Fly' wellness checklist sets clear guidelines on health requirements for our customers and helps minimize the risk of exposure during the travel experience."

United (Nasdaq: UAL) said it worked closely with the Cleveland Clinic on the checklist, based on recommendations from the Cleveland Clinic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization, 

The checklist requires customers to click "accept" to indicate they have reviewed the checklist during the digital check-in process on the United mobile app, United.com, on a United kiosk, or by reviewing and verbally confirming when checking-in with an agent at the airport to receive a boarding pass. 

The checklist includes the following:

  • You must wear a face covering while on board for the safety of everyone.
  • Have not been diagnosed with Covid-19 in the last 21 days. Have not experienced any of the following symptoms in the past 14 days (excludes symptoms from a pre-existing condition):
  • Temperature of 38 C/100.4 F or higher
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Sore throat
  • Recent loss of taste or smell
  • Have not been denied boarding by another airline due to a medical screening for a communicable disease in the last 14 days.
  • Have not had close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days.

The checklist also affirms customers are willing to abide by the airline's other safety protocols, including wearing a face covering, which is now mandatory for all employees and customers on board a United aircraft. United said customers who are not able to confirm these requirements and choose not to travel can reschedule their flight. They can also check in at the airport for further review.

United said the assessment is part of its United CleanPlus program, a partnership with Clorox and the Cleveland Clinic. The program features new cleaning, safety and social distancing protocols that includes touchless check-in for baggage at select locations, sneeze guards and mandatory face coverings for crew and customers on all flights.

In April, United became the first major U.S.-based airline to require flight attendants to wear a face mask while on duty, and beginning in May, it expanded that mandate to include all employees and customers on board. This includes front-line workers like pilots, customer service agents and ramp workers when on board an aircraft, along with any other United employees traveling using their flight benefits.

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