It’s hard for me to believe that I’m saying this but Frontier continues to lead the way in policy and innovation when it comes to COVID-19.
After an interesting week where Frontier charged for safety and then were shamed into not charging, the low-cost airline has become the first airline to announce they are making plans to begin passenger temperature screenings.
According to the announcement, beginning 1 June 2020, Frontier Airlines will begin screening both passengers and team members prior to boarding the flights utilizing the following steps:
- Customers will be screened via touchless thermometers prior to boarding.
- If a customer’s temperature reading is 100.4 degrees or higher, they will be given time to rest, if the flight departure time allows, before receiving a second check.
- If the second check is 100.4 degrees or higher, a Frontier gate agent will explain to the customer that they will not be flying that day for the health and safety of others and the airline will work with that customer to rebook travel on a later date or otherwise accommodate the traveler’s preferences with respect to their reservation.
Note: All Frontier employees will be held to the same standard and will not be allowed to work if a temperature of 100.4 (or higher) is detected at the beginning of their shift.
It’s worth noting that Frontier Airlines CEO, Barry Biffle, has made it clear that the airline believes passengers should be screened as they are entering an airport and not once they are in the airport.
Interestingly, unlike in the USA, many airports around the world have a similar practice where passengers are not allowed to enter an airport unless they show security officers boarding passes at the airport entry door. Regardless to whether you agree or disagree with the idea of temperature checks, the initiative could be implemented easily as many airports are already “screening” passengers at the entry door even before COVID19.
Last month, Frontier also implemented a “health acknowledgement” in which passengers (prior to completing check-in) had to confirm:
- Neither they nor anyone in their household has exhibited Covid-19 related symptoms in the last 14 days
- They will check their temperature before heading to the airport and not travel if they have a fever
- They will wash their hands/sanitize before boarding the flight
- They understand and acknowledge the airline’s face covering policy
You have to give props where prop are due. Although none of theses initiatives are guaranteed to make flying “safe,” it’s a start and I believe these are the steps that need to be taken to remove the fear that many travelers have about flying right now.
However, I feel like the the longer it takes to return to “normal,” the more likely these initiatives will be the “new normal.”
What do you think about Frontier’s temperature screening initiative? Should this be implemented by all airlines?