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United will start asking for contact info in latest anti-coronavirus measure

Dec. 16, 2020
2 min read
United will start asking for contact info in latest anti-coronavirus measure
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United Airlines is one-upping Delta in its latest anti-coronavirus measure.

The Chicago-based carrier announced Wednesday that it will begin phasing in a comprehensive contact-tracing initiative, aimed to help curb the spread of the COVID-19 after an infected flyer takes to the skies and possibly spreads the virus.

As part of the program, United is partnering with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to provide the agency with real-time contact information for flyers. If a positive case is tracked to a flight, the CDC, along with local health authorities, can then follow up with other passengers seated near the infected patient to provide further instructions, such as a possible quarantine or testing requirement.

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United stresses that this program is completely voluntary, but you will be asked for your information at multiple points before departure, including when checking in on the mobile app, at united.com and at the airport.

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If you agree to provide your information, you'll be asked for:

  • An email address
  • Phone number at your final destination
  • Address at your final destination
(Photo courtesy of United)

Beginning this week, United's contact-tracing efforts will start with all international flights bound for the U.S. In the coming weeks, the airline will phase in both domestic and outbound international departures.

On Monday, Dec. 15, Delta became the first U.S. carrier to launch such an initiative. However, the Atlanta-based carrier has so far limited the data collection to inbound international flights, with no news yet on whether it will expand to include domestic and/or international departures.

As such, United's program is poised to become even more comprehensive than Delta's. “Initiatives like testing and contact tracing will play a significant role in slowing the spread of COVID-19 until a vaccine is widely available,” said United’s chief customer officer Toby Enqvist.

Related: Delta becomes first major carrier to launch contact-tracing initiative

It remains to be seen what percentage of customers will share their information. Without a critical mass, this initiative isn't nearly as significant in curbing the spread of the coronavirus.

Either way, with the second wave of COVID-19 spreading rapidly across the nation, every last effort counts.

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

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    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

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  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
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  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases