Delta Air Lines will become the first carrier in the United States to collect data from international travelers for COVID-19 contact tracing and public health follow-up efforts. As part of a partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Delta announced it would ask customers traveling to the U.S. from an international destination to voluntarily provide five pieces of data. Starting December 15, the necessary information for coronavirus contact tracing will include the international traveler’s full name, email address, address in the U.S., primary phone number and secondary phone number. Delta will work with its nine global airline partners, government agencies, health officials and aviation authorities to build a contact tracing system to support coronavirus-related safety measures.
“Independent studies have shown that the many layers of protection Delta has already put in place are effectively minimizing the risk of COVID-19 transmission, and contact tracing adds one more important layer to our efforts to ensure safety throughout travel.”
– Delta Chief Customer Experience Officer Bill Lentsch
Voluntary Participation on Delta-operated Flights
Lentsch continued, “We want customers to feel safe when they return to travel; and this voluntary program is another way we can provide additional reassurance to customers and employees alike.” However, international customers can voluntarily participate in the carrier’s contact-tracing program; that is, if they are flying on any Delta-operated flight and they are a foreign national and/or a U.S. passport holder traveling to the U.S. as the final destination.
Altogether, Delta will directly and securely transmit the five requested customer data points to the CDC via U.S. Customs and Border Protection. As a result, the time it takes to notify affected customers via local health departments will dramatically decrease. In addition, the airline and its partners at the Mayo Clinic have launched changes to its service to minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19 during a flight, including additional disinfecting wipes, consolidated meal service, enhanced social distancing between crew members and more.