United to Ask All Passengers for Contact-Tracing Information

United Airlines during the next few weeks will begin asking all passengers during check-in to voluntarily provide contact information to assist any contract-tracing efforts, the carrier announced Wednesday. 

The program will allow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “immediate access” to passengers’ volunteered email addresses, phone numbers and the addresses of where they are staying at their destination, according to the carrier, which “were previously difficult for the CDC to obtain in real time.”

International passengers arriving in the United States this week will be the first to be prompted by United to volunteer their contact information during the check-in process, whether that is through United’s website or app or at the airport. The program will expand to all flights and passengers during the next few weeks, according to United. 

“Collection of contact information from air travelers will greatly improve the timeliness and completeness of information for Covid-19 public health follow-up and contact tracing,” CDC director Robert Redfield said in a statement provided by United. 

United is the first major U.S. carrier to announce voluntary contact-tracing passenger data for all flights. Delta Air Lines this week began asking inbound international arrivals to the U.S. to provide such data. 

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