Airlines made big coronavirus changes this week. What to know

JetBlue and Spirit are among carriers announcing changes

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Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, U.S. airlines have been working on ways to ensure their passengers’ safety and peace of mind while traveling. This week, a number of major carriers, like Frontier Airlines, rolled out new safety measures for that reason.

Frontier Airlines

Frontier announced mandatory temperature screenings for all passengers and employees Thursday in a policy that will start June 1.

“The health and safety of everyone flying Frontier is paramount and temperature screenings add an additional layer of protection for everyone onboard,” Frontier Airlines CEO Barry Biffle said in a press release. “This new step during the boarding process, coupled with face coverings and elevated disinfection procedures, will serve to provide Frontier customers an assurance that their well-being is our foremost priority and we are taking every measure to help them travel comfortably and safely.”

FRONTIER TO IMPLEMENT TEMPERATURE CHECKS; TSA TELLS ITS EMPLOYEES TO WEAR MASKS AT CHECKPOINTS

If a passenger's temperature is 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, they will be given time to rest, if the flight departure time allows, before a second check. If that check is 100.4 degrees or higher, the passenger will be denied boarding and offered assistance rebooking.

Frontier previously began blocking middle seats on flights.

JetBlue

JetBlue announced Wednesday it is offering free roundtrip flights to front-line health care workers as part of its JetBlue Healthcare Hero initiative that will aim to give 100,000 medical professionals roundtrip flight certificates for future travel.

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JBLUJETBLUE AIRWAYS10.20+0.13+1.29%

The company also saluted medical employees and first responders with a low-altitude flyover Thursday in New York City.

JetBlue also announced this week it will temporality pull flights from certain cities.

SPIRIT, JETBLUE SUSPENDING FLIGHTS TO SOME CITIES AMID CORONAVIRUS, DOT SAYS

Spirit

Along with JetBlue, federal transportation officials have cleared Spirit Airlines to pull flights to some cities until Sept. 30 as the pandemic keeps would-be travelers at home.

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SAVESPIRIT AIRLINES INC.13.96+1.01+7.80%

Both airlines will be temporarily cutting service to Charlotte, North Carolina; Denver; Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota; Phoenix; Portland, Oregon, and Seattle. JetBlue will also be pausing flights to Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas; Detroit, Houston, Las Vegas, Nashville, Philadelphia, San Diego and Tampa, Florida.

Southwest

Southwest Airlines, which has taken a hit in the coronavirus shutdown, said Monday it will allow corporate travel bookings through industry-standard business booking systems.

“Our new GDS capabilities allow business travel managers the ability to book, modify, and cancel Southwest travel without having to pick up the phone, and they can better track and manage their organization's travel,” Andrew Watterson, Southwest's executive vice president and chief commercial officer, said in a statement.

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LUVSOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO.33.62+1.52+4.74%

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A report this week said that despite averaging fewer than two dozen passengers per domestic flight, U.S. airlines are collectively burning more than $10 billion in cash per month. In a prepared testimony from Airlines for America, seen by Reuters, the group said even after grounding nearly 50 percent of the active U.S. fleet, its member carriers, including the four largest U.S. airlines, are averaging just 17 passengers per domestic flight.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
AALAMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC.11.11+0.61+5.81%
DALDELTA AIR LINES INC.26.17+0.96+3.81%
UALUNITED AIRLINES HLDG.29.46+1.42+5.06%

AmericanDelta, JetBlue, United and have all previously announced that passengers will have to wear face covers on flights.

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