Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, announced that its member carriers are supporting the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to begin checking the temperature of the traveling public and customer-facing employees as long as necessary during the COVID-19 public health crisis.
Temperature checks are one of several public health measures recommended by the CDC amid the COVID-19 pandemic and will add an extra layer of protection for passengers as well as airline and airport employees. Temperature checks also will provide additional public confidence that is critical to relaunching air travel and our nation’s economy. As all screening processes for the traveling public are the responsibility of the U.S. government, having temperature checks performed by the TSA will ensure that procedures are standardized, providing consistency across airports so that travelers can plan appropriately.
Since the onset of COVID-19, U.S. airlines have been working to protect passengers and employees. Last week, A4A’s carrier members voluntarily announced that they are requiring customer-facing employees and passengers wear a cloth face covering over their nose and mouth throughout the journey — during check-in, boarding, in flight and deplaning.
A4A’s member carriers all meet or exceed CDC guidance and have implemented intensive cleaning protocols, in some cases to include electrostatic cleaning and fogging procedures. Carriers are working around the clock to sanitize cockpits, cabins and key touchpoints – like tray tables, arm rests, seatbelts, buttons, vents, handles and lavatories – with CDC-approved disinfectants. Additionally, A4A carriers have aircraft equipped with HEPA filters and have implemented a range of policies – such as back-to-front boarding and adjusting food and beverage services to reduce interaction. More details are available here.
All travelers – passengers and employees – are encouraged to follow CDC guidance, including frequent hand-washing and staying home when ill.
The safety and wellbeing of passengers and employees is the top priority of U.S. airlines. As we look toward a relaunch of our industry and a reopening of the economy, U.S. carriers remain in close contact with federal agencies, the Administration, Congress and public health experts about a range of options that would provide additional layers of protection for the public and instill greater confidence in passengers and employees as they travel.