Photo: FREDERIC J. BROWN / Getty Images

United Airlines on Wednesday became the first major U.S. airline to ask all passengers to complete a health self-assessment during the check-in process amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: To reassure the public it's safe to fly, battered airlines are stepping up their cleaning and disinfection procedures. Most carriers are requiring employees and passengers to wear masks and now United is going a step further by asking travelers to confirm they are healthy.

How it works: Whether checking in online, at a kiosk or in person at the airport, passengers would be required to accept United's "Ready-to-Fly" checklist that includes confirmation that you:

  • will wear a face mask.
  • haven't been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 21 days.
  • haven't had symptoms or been in close contact with someone who tested positive in the past 14 days.
  • haven't been denied boarding by another airline for medical reasons.

The bottom line: United says customers that are unable to confirm these requirements and choose not to travel will be able to reschedule their flights.

  • The company didn't respond to a request for more details on what happens if passengers refuse to answer, or refuse to wear a mask onboard the plane.

Go deeper

Airlines say air quality, cleanliness lower coronavirus risk

Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Airlines are trying to reassure customers the risk of being infected by the coronavirus on a flight is low because of their improved cleaning efforts and sophisticated cabin ventilation systems.

Why it matters: The airline industry can't recover until passengers feel it is safe to travel again.

Airline recovery falters before it even gets off the ground

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Any hope for a rebound in air travel this year has vanished, with coronavirus cases surging in much of the U.S. and some states imposing quarantines to keep visitors away.

Why it matters: The airline industry is already suffering the worst crisis in its history. The soaring infection rates mean planes will be grounded even longer, putting tens of thousands of people out of work in the coming months.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 12,772,755 — Total deaths: 566,036 — Total recoveries — 7,030,749Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 3,269,531 — Total deaths: 134,898 — Total recoveries: 995,576 — Total tested: 39,553,395Map.
  3. Politics: Trump wears face mask in public for first time.
  4. States: Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases with over 15,000.
  5. Public health: Trump's coronavirus testing czar says lockdowns in hotspots "should be on the table" — We're losing the war on the coronavirus.
  6. Education: Betsy DeVos says schools that don't reopen shouldn't get federal funds — Pelosi accuses Trump of "messing with the health of our children."