United Airlines now asks passengers health questions before check-in

A traveler wearing a protective mask exits from the United Airlines Holdings Inc. check-in counter at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Monday, June 1, 2020.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

United Airlines on Wednesday said passengers now face a series of health questions as they check in for their flights, the latest effort by an airline to address health concerns about flying during the coronavirus pandemic.

Travelers will be presented with a checklist that prompts them to confirm that they have not been diagnosed with Covid-19 in the past 21 days and that they haven’t had symptoms over the last two weeks such as a temperature of more than 100.4 degrees, a cough, chills, muscle aches or a sore throat.

Customers will also be asked to confirm that they haven’t been denied boarding by another airline because of the results of a medical screening for a communicable disease over the last two weeks and that they haven’t had close contact with a Covid-19-positive person in that period.

United, which says it’s the first major U.S. airline to establish a health self-assessment for check-in, asks travelers to confirm that they will wear a mask on board.

“Customers that are not able to confirm these requirements and choose not to travel will be able to reschedule their flight,” United said in a news release. “Customers may also choose to check-in at the airport for further review.”

Major U.S. airlines including United require travelers to wear masks on board but have said they won’t force travelers to do so. 

Airlines have been scrambling to ease travelers’ worries about flying during the pandemic. Labor unions have called on federal officials to mandate procedures, and not just guidelines, for air travel. U.S. air travel demand is on the rise from more than six-decade lows hit in April but it is still more than 80% lower than the same period last year.

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