United is becoming the first of the big-three US carriers to complete a health self-assessment during the check-in process. The “Ready-to-Fly” checklist asks customers to self-confirm they haven’t experienced any Coronavirus-related symptoms in the 14 days prior to flying and is based on recommendations from the Cleveland Clinic.
United’s new program will require customers to click “Accept” to confirm they’ve reviewed the “Ready-to-Fly” checklist if they’re checking-in digitally on the United mobile app, United.com, on a United kiosk. If checking-in with an agent, the agent will verbally confirm the checklist with them while checking in.
The checklist, which follows guidance from the Cleveland Clinic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO), includes the following:
- You must wear a face covering while on board for the safety of everyone.
- Have not been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 21 days. Have not experienced any of the following symptoms in the past 14 days (excludes symptoms from a pre-existing condition)
- Temperature of 38 C/100.4 F or higher
- Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- Recent loss of taste or smell
- Have not been denied boarding by another airline due to a medical screening for a communicable disease in the last 14 days.
- Have not had close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
The checklist also asks customers to confirm they’re willing to follow the airline’s other safety protocols, including wearing a face covering, which is now mandatory for all employees and customers on United flights.
United notes that “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 new “Ready-to-Fly” checklist is part of their United CleanPlus initiative which they describe as “delivering industry-leading cleanliness, plus putting health and safety at the forefront of our entire customer experience.”
The program from United is in partnership with Clorox, a recognizable cleaning brand, and the country’s top medical experts, Cleveland Clinic to inform their cleaning, safety and social distancing protocols.
What They’re Saying
The new program is designed to alleviate fears for flyers as many start resuming travel. United quotes Dr. James Merlino, Chief Clinical Transformation Officer at Cleveland Clinic, a nonprofit academic medical center and a United CleanPlus advisor:
“As people are returning to their daily activities during the COVID-19 pandemic, their health and safety – as well as the health and safety of others – should continue to be top-of-mind. Our health experts are pleased to play a role in helping people travel more safely and we worked closely with United to develop a health self-assessment for its customers to better ensure precautions are taken before beginning their journey.”
Pat Baylis, United’s Corporate Medical Director, adds:
“The health and safety of our customers and employees is our highest priority, and we have been working closely with trusted medical experts and partners to institute new practices and procedures to further protect those who work and travel with us. United’s ‘Ready-to-Fly’ wellness checklist sets clear guidelines on health requirements for our customers and helps minimize the risk of exposure during the travel experience.”
As Americans and others start returning to the skies in mass, asking flyers to confirm they don’t have Coronavirus symptoms is a good step in restoring confidence. Airlines are working to make travel cleaner and safer. United is the first major carrier to take this step but likely will not be the last as airlines look for ways to get travelers flying again.
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