Delta to screen flyers’ temperatures as part of test at Los Angeles
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Delta passengers, be prepared for the airline to check your temperature if you’re flying out of Los Angeles (LAX) during the next few weeks.
The carrier will begin conducting temperature checks on Tuesday (Aug. 11) as part of a three-week pilot program. Delta’s test expands a temperature-screening pilot that the airport itself began testing at its Tom Bradley International Terminal in late June.
“As a part of our ongoing efforts to reduce the COVID-19 infection rate and provide additional layers of protection for our customers and employees, we are testing a temperature screening process for customers flying out of LAX Terminal 2,” Delta Air Lines said in a statement to TPG on Monday. “Customers who have a temperature of 100.4 or higher will not be allowed to board consistent with the CDC’s fever threshold.”
The story was first reported by the Thrifty Traveler website.
Delta will be the third U.S. carrier to screen customers’ temperatures. Frontier Airlines began doing so in June, taking passengers’ readings before boarding. Unlike Delta, Frontier’s temperature screening is ongoing and has been rolled out across the budget carrier’s network. And Southwest has been running a temperature-screening trial of its own at Dallas Love Field (DAL) that could run for up to three months.
Delta did not specify whether the temperature screening could become permanent or if it might be rolled out to other airports if the LAX pilot is deemed a success.
For now, the program will affect Delta customers who begin travel at LAX or who connect from the international Bradley Terminal to Delta flights in terminals T2 and T3. Those flyers will be required to pass by thermal imaging cameras at the LAX T2 departure checkpoint.
However, Delta customers connecting on domestic flights within the T2 and T3 terminals will not be checked as part of the pilot.
If a passenger fails Delta’s temperature screening, the carrier said it would work with the traveler to rebook for a different date or to cancel the reservation and offer a refund.
More broadly, the moves by both Delta and Frontier underscore the efforts airlines are taking to try to convince a traveling public spooked by the coronavirus pandemic that it’s safe to return to the skies.
Airlines in the U.S. and around the world are hemorrhaging cash amid a global collapse in travel. Travel demand cratered to just 4% of normal in April, and — on top of that — carriers have been hit with a spike in cancellation and refund requests.
Domestically, airlines enjoyed a slight rebound into June, but that leveled off amid a resurgence in COVID-19 cases across much of the nation. Even with the rebound, domestic passenger numbers are still down 72% year-over-year for the week ending Aug. 2, according to trade group Airlines for America.
Looking ahead, there’s concern in the industry that passenger numbers could dive again once the summer travel season ends and kids go back to school – either in person or remote. In normal years, corporate travel rises after Labor Day and helps keep planes full as leisure travel tails off. But that’s unlikely in 2020, when few people are back in offices yet – let alone traveling for work.
Against that backdrop, U.S. carrier’s have tried to burnish their safety credentials.
And four big U.S. airlines – Delta, Alaska, JetBlue and Southwest – currently cap seat sales to help keep middle seats empty and promote social-distancing.
Nearly every big U.S. carrier has gone public to promote its safety efforts. And Frontier CEO Barry Biffle implored the public to start flying again in an interview last week with TPG’s Edward Russell.
“Flying is one of the safest things you can do outside your home. The air is as clean as a hospital surgery room,” Biffle said. “It’s time to fly.”
Now, only time will tell if the travel public buys in. Stay tuned …
Editor’s note: This post us been updated to show that Southwest is running a temperature-screening trial at Dallas Love Field.
Featured photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $200 statement credit after your first Delta purchase within the first three months. Offer ends 7/28/21.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $200 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
- Limited Time Offer: Plus, get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable 15.74%-24.74%. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
- Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees