United Rolls Out Passenger Check-In Health Self-Assessment

health check
Credit: United

United Airlines has become the first major U.S. carrier to require all passengers to complete a health self-assessment at check-in, offering a further glimpse of how post-COVID-19 air travel may look.

The Chicago-based carrier’s “Ready-to-Fly” checklist, which it inaugurated June 9, asks passengers to confirm they have not experienced COVID-19-related symptoms in the 14 days prior to flying. Customers must either review the checklist and click “Accept” during the digital check-in process, or do so in person when checking-in with an agent prior to receiving their boarding passes. 

The checklist also asks customers to verify they have not been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the 21 days prior to flying, have not been denied boarding by another airline owing to medical screening for a communicable disease in the last 14 days and have not had close contact with someone who tested positive for the illness in the last 14 days. 

Additionally, customers must verify they have not exhibited any of the following symptoms in the last two weeks, excluding those resulting from a pre-existing condition: temperature of 100.4F or higher, cough, shortness of breath or breathing difficulty, chills, muscle pain, sore throat or recent loss of taste or smell.

“Passengers exhibiting these COVID-19 symptoms should not be flying, unless certain symptoms . . . are part of a pre-existing condition,” a United spokesperson explained through email. 

Alaska Airlines also will require customers to complete a wellness agreement during check-in, effective June 30. The form will ask passengers whether they have exhibited COVID-19 symptoms in the past 72 hours or come into contact with someone who has. 

Frontier Airlines also has been asking passengers to complete a health self-assessment form during check-in. The form asks whether anyone in a passenger’s household has exhibited COVID-19 symptoms in the last 14 days. The Denver-based ULCC is the only U.S. carrier currently taking customers’ temperatures prior to boarding.

Ben Goldstein

Based in Boston, Ben covers advanced air mobility and is managing editor of Aviation Week Network’s AAM Report.