Airlines are doing a lot to make passengers feel more comfortable when flying and to help stop the spread of viruses. Many airlines are requiring all crew and passengers to wear masks when flying. And others are striving to use enhanced sanitation methods like electrostatic sprayers on all aircraft (Delta has already accomplished this).
But some airlines like Air Canada and Frontier Airlines are taking things to the next level and implementing mandatory temperature screening. It’s very possible that other major airlines will decide to use temperature screening as some CEOs like Southwest’s are already calling for it to be incorporated.
So you might be wondering what exactly temperature screenings would entail?
Basically, the airlines would use a contactless thermometer to gauge your temperature.
If you’ve done a fair amount of traveling, you’ve probably seen something like this. In some cases, there could be a handheld device that is pointed at your forehead and in other cases a different type of infrared scanner could be used.
In the case of Frontier Airlines, if your temperature is 100.4° or higher you will be denied boarding.
Frontier will give passengers a second chance if their temperature is too high.
If there is enough time before boarding, they can come back and get another scan. (This makes me wonder about the ability to “game” the reading by perhaps downing a cold drink or something.)
If a passenger fails the temperature check a second time, they can have travel rebooked for a different date. It’s also worth mentioning that employees are held to the same standard.
Having a way to reject passengers with high temperatures will certainly help filter out potentially sick individuals that could be carrying the virus.
But in some places, as much as 50% of people do not show symptoms when they have the coronavirus. Some of those people may never develop symptoms and others may develop them later on but they both could be contagious when displaying no symptoms.
So temperature scans will not do anything to prevent those individuals from boarding. Instead, wearing masks and increased sanitation will be much more important for preventing the spread from those people.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.