Coronavirus

4:13 PM, Feb 27, 2020

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How the airline industry is working to combat COVID-19

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Posted at 4:18 PM, May 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-11 16:18:16-04

All passengers on Southwest and American Airlines flights are required to wear masks starting Monday to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. Other major airlines including United, Delta, JetBlue and Frontier had already started requiring face coverings.

Another change is temperature checks. Frontier is the first airline to say it will do its own temperature scan starting June 1, but it and other airlines are now urging the TSA to add this as part of the screening process.

The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), the nation's largest pilot union, is pushing Congress to require the FAA to make airline safety protocols recommended by the CDC mandatory.

“Right now, it's recommended, so what you're going to see as a result of that and what we've seen, is a varying patchwork of levels of compliance so you might have some airlines doing masks, others doing gloves and you know some doing disinfecting after every flight, some not,” said Captain Joe DePete, president of ALPA.

Those recommendations include proper cleaning and sanitation of planes, notifying flight crews of positive COVID-19 cases, and providing proper personal protective equipment.

ALPA says the FAA oversight is needed to make us all feel safer when we start to fly again.

“We get information from every airline coming in with pilots reporting these things, seeing shortfalls where one day you know an airplane says it was cleaned when they know in fact they were sitting on the airplane it wasn't,” said DePete.

The union says nearly 300 of its members have tested positive for the virus. At least three have died.