Delta to require health acknowledgment by customers at check-in

Delta Air Lines will soon require customers to answer questions about whether they've experienced symptoms of COVID-19, or been in contact with someone who has, as part of the check-in process.

Starting in mid-July, the Atlanta-based airline said, passengers will be required to fill out a health acknowledgment form. Passengers also must agree to face mask requirements during travel.

Delta said the policy is "to provide an additional layer of protection for the safety of our employees and customers."

The new requirement is in line with health declarations required on other airlines, including Southwest and United, and the major airlines' lobbying group said Monday that all of its members would roll out temporary policies requiring health acknowledgements.

United announced June 10 that the health self-assessment process would be part of the check-in process, and Southwest started requiring a customer health declaration on June 16.

The industry group, Airlines for America, said health acknowledgments “encourage passengers to make an evaluation of their own health prior to travel,” and said those who refuse to complete the health acknowledgment “may be deemed unfit to travel.”

Airlines for America — which counts among its members Delta, Southwest and United, as well as American, JetBlue, Alaska and Hawaiian — said it expects the health acknowledgment requirement to remain in place throughout the coronavirus crisis.

Delta and other airlines already have been requiring passengers and employees to wear masks and warned that customers who don't comply could lose future flight privileges. Delta said last week it has banned some passengers who refused.

On its website, Delta says that customers and employees are required to wear a face mask or face covering over their nose and mouth throughout travel, including at check-in, gate areas, jet bridges and on board the plane except during meal service. There are exceptions for children and those unable to keep a face covering due to medical conditions.

Airlines for America is also pushing for the Transportation Security Administration to begin checking temperatures at airports and said its members will refund tickets for any passengers with an elevated temperature.