This week, 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 coronavirus (COVID-19). 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 (100.4 degrees Fahrenheit 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 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.
In addition, A4A's member carriers are 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 recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—including frequent hand-washing—for their protection, as well as that of others.