Airlines for America’s seven passenger carrier members will
require flyers to make health declarations ahead of traveling. The carriers expect to keep those policies in
place throughout the Covid-19 health crisis.
“Health assessments prior to air travel are just one more
important measure in our multi-layered approach to help mitigate risk and
prioritize the well-being of passengers and employees,” A4A CEO Nick Calio said
in a prepared comment Monday.
It’s the second health-safety measure agreed upon by A4A
carriers American, Alaska, Delta, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Southwest and United in
the past week as they try to assuage the public’s concern about the safety of
flying. On June 25, A4A members announced that should the TSA begin temperature
checks as part of the screening process, they would refund fares to anyone
turned away. In addition, earlier this month the seven airlines jointly pledged
to strictly enforce mandatory mask requirements.
Ahead of Monday’s announcement, Southwest, United, Hawaiian,
American and Alaska were already requiring passenger health declarations. So
was Frontier, which is not an A4A member. Delta and JetBlue will now join in.
Each of the A4A member carriers will require passengers to complete a health
acknowledgement during check-in.
The acknowledgements, said A4A, typically require passengers
to provide assurance that they will wear a face mask at the airport and on the
plane. Passengers must also declare whether they have a fever or are
experiencing other Covid-19 symptoms. And they must provide assurance that they
have not had close contact with someone who tested positive for, or had
symptoms of, Covid-19 in the previous two weeks.
Airlines, though, still have distinctly different policies
on blocking seats. For example, Delta has pledged to block 40% of economy seats
through September. Southwest, Alaska and JetBlue also have seat blocking in
place. But United makes all seats available and American will end seat blocking
on June 30.