Following a Covid-19-infected passenger’s travel with United, the airline announced that they will implement a contact-tracing initiative, with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in an effort to curb the spread of Covid-19 via air travel. United Airlines’ actions are an attempt to promote safety for both crew and passengers.
The contact-tracing program was implemented with the intention to keep travelers informed and up to date in the case that they are exposed to Covid-19. During the check-in process, United customers will voluntarily enter their email addresses, phone numbers, and an address where they could be located at their final destination through an e-form. Customers have the option to provide this information using the United app, in the airport, or on United’s website.
Contact-tracing will provide the CDC with real-time contact information for passengers boarding any international or domestic United Airlines flight. Once contact information is collected from passengers, it will only be shared with the CDC if necessary. It’s a small step passengers can take to protect themselves and others on their flight.
The initiative will be implemented in phases with the first phase—voluntary collection of contact information for international arrivals—having already been implemented. In forthcoming weeks, United Airlines passengers can expect to see the initiative phased in for domestic and international departures.
The contact-tracing program is not the only Covid-19-related initiative United has implemented over the past couple of weeks, however. Having recently implemented “Agent on Demand,” a contactless customer service program, as well as enhancing sanitation protocols, United has taken many precautions when it comes to Covid-19.
Nonetheless, providing information to be used for contact-tracing by the CDC is entirely voluntary. Passengers will be prompted to input their contact information throughout multiple stages of their travel experience, but United will not require the e-form to be filled out in order to travel.