The busiest day of the Independence Day holiday period is expected to be Thursday, when nearly 30,000 passengers are expected to pass through airport security checkpoints at Hartsfield-Jackson International.
"Some things might look different since the last time you traveled," said Airports Council International - North America president Kevin Burke.
There are now more plexiglass partitions, social distancing markers in airports and reduced in-flight food and beverage service.
Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines and other major carriers require passengers to wear masks, or risk being banned from future flights on the airline.
Airports have varying policies. American Association of Airport Executives President Todd Hauptli said about two-thirds of large hub airports across the country require masks. The others encourage the use of masks, mainly because they are prohibited from requiring them by state or local ordinance. The Atlanta airport has not been able to require masks due to a state executive order, but is strongly encouraging masks.
Industry group Airlines for America has pushed for the TSA to start checking travelers’ temperatures. Pekoske said such a decision has not yet been made, and that it’s not the TSA’s decision alone to make.
He said one consideration is “how would you resolve the passengers that have an elevated temperature,” since people may have elevated temperatures for reasons other than the coronavirus.
Temperature checks or other screening were part of discussions between the EU and the U.S. government, according to Airlines for America President Nicholas Calio. The criteria the EU is considering includes the number of new COVID-19 cases as well as testing, surveillance, contact tracing, containment, treatment and reporting.