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United Airlines: Dept. of Defense study says COVID risk on planes is 'virtually non-existent'

Oct. 15, 2020
2 min read
United Airlines: Dept. of Defense study says COVID risk on planes is 'virtually non-existent'
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United Airlines is promoting a new study that finds a minimal risk from the coronavirus onboard an airplane, an effort that comes as United works to boost confidence in travel after a more than $1 billion loss in the third quarter.

The study conducted by the Department of Defense on United aircraft finds that the risk of breathing in a COVID-19 particle on a flight is just 0.003%, United said Thursday. The findings are based on every flyer wearing a mask and looked at the risks onboard a fully loaded flight.

Trade group the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Delta Air Lines have also touted a minimal risk of coronavirus infection on airplanes in the past week.

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United's publication of the findings comes as it reports a $1.4 billion net loss during the quarter ending in September. While far less than Delta's $5.4 billion loss over the same period, the Chicago-based carrier did not have the billions-of-dollars in one-time COVID-related expenses that Delta recorded during the period.

Importantly, United reduced its daily loss to an average of $21 million a day — or $25 million a day including debt payments — in the third quarter. Every U.S. carrier is focused on cutting losses, or cash burn, to zero as quickly as they can.

United executives will discuss the results for the July-to-September period on Thursday.

Related: Risk of coronavirus on planes less than getting struck by lightning

This story will be updated with more details on United's results later on Thursday.

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Featured image by NurPhoto via Getty Images

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Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
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Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023