With airlines still in the beginning phase of returning to work, several top industry players have been taking precautions. United Airlines announced earlier this week that it would require flyers to take a health assessment test before they board its flights.
United Isn’t Taking Any Chances
According to a press release published yesterday, the company explained that passengers would face various health questions as they check-in for their flights. The travelers will have to fill a checklist that will prompt them to confirm not being diagnosed for the virus within 21 days.
The health check will also seek to verify that no passenger has had symptoms – such as muscle aches, a sore throat, coughing, or running temperatures – for the prior two weeks.
Besides, customers will be asked to confirm that they haven’t been denied boarding on another airliner after testing positive for an infectious disease over two weeks. Lastly, the questionnaire will ask if anyone has had close contact with a COVID-19-positive person in the same period.
Lastly, passengers will have to comply with the company’s compulsory mask condition while on board.
“Customers that are not able to confirm these requirements and choose not to travel will be able to reschedule their flight. Customers may also choose to check-in at the airport for further review,” the company said in the press release.
The requirement to wear face masks is a bit of a controversial one. Most passengers seem not to fancy them and won’t want to have them onboard, and in rare cases when they do, there might take it off before the plane takes off.
Per a CNN report, Susannah Carr, a flight attendant for United, testified before the House Transportation Committee on Tuesday that she had discussed some of the troubles with some of her colleagues.
“The fact that passengers don’t like to wear the mask, might take it off for a longer period than just to eat or drink. It’s definitely an issue that we need to address,” she said in part.
It’s also worth noting that there are currently no federal laws that govern how airlines can enforce safety rules while they operate in this period. While major airlines require passengers to wear face masks, they have also confirmed that they won’t force their customers to do so.
Airlines Get Set to Bounce Back
Despite the new development, airline companies appear poised to begin operations again. The space, along with industries like sports and hospitality, was affected the most by the pandemic. Demand for flights has plummeted over the past two months.
According to a report from Airlines for America, the stay-at-home orders had forced demand for flying to drop to levels not seen since the 1950s.
Earlier this month, the major airliner announced that it would be restoring flights at 150 locations across the United States and Canada. Even with that, the company explained that its domestic flight capacity by next month will be down by 70 percent compared to last July, at best.
Despite the bleak numbers, United is anticipating a positive resumption – as are a lot of other airliners. American Airlines announced this month that it would also be bringing back several domestic and international flights, as it had seen a surging demand for flights.
Per a report, the company saw a daily passenger count of 110,000 for May – up from April’s dismal 32,000 daily counts. Anticipating an increase, the firm is now getting ready to fly at 55 percent of its domestic flight capacity for July 2019 and 20 percent of its international flight capacity.
Combined, total flights for the firm will be just 40 percent of its July 2019 capacity.