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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

March 29, 2020

The Tucson Airport Authority is providing current information on this page to respond to questions and concerns of passengers using Tucson International Airport (TUS) during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

TUS is open and operating as essential critical transportation infrastructure. 

For the TAA there is nothing more important than the safety and security of users of Tucson’s airports, whether it’s on the airfield or the health and well-being of passengers and employees. The TAA is in regular active contact with the Pima County Health Department, Arizona Department of Health Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), our airline partners and airport industry leaders to respond to recommendations. This is TAA practice in cases such as this, per the TUS Communicable Disease Response Plan.T

The Pima County Health Department provides coronavirus updates through this link:

Pima County Health Department Coronavirus

TUS Airlines Schedules

While there are no current travel restrictions to or from any nonstop destination served by airlines at Tucson International Airport, there are restrictions to many connecting destinations in the United States and around the world. Coronavirus concerns have severely impacted air service and airlines are cancelling flights and moving quickly to re-adjust schedules. See the current status of today’s flights at TUS here.

Passengers are advised to research conditions at their planned destination before traveling. Many areas of the U.S. are under orders to Stay at Home or Shelter in Place, which require people to limit activities to only those things considered essential. Further, the states of Alaska, Hawaii, New Mexico and Rhode Island are now requiring all arriving airline passengers to self quarantine themselves for 14 days after arrival.

For those who are making future travel plans or need to travel soon, we have a summary below of current information regarding airline schedules at TUS. It is updated as new information is verified by TAA but it is still subject to last-minute changes. (If a date is not noted, then it is the current and planned schedule for the foreseeable future.)

(Click on airline name to see information from that airline regarding COVID-19)

Alaska Airlines

  • Portland, Ore – Seasonal service ends after May 20
  • Seattle – 1 flight per day

Allegiant Air

  • Bellingham, Washington – Flights suspended
  • Indianapolis – Flights scheduled to operate April 2, 5, 9 and 12 then end for the season
  • Las Vegas – Friday and Sunday flights scheduled to start June 5
  • Provo – Flights scheduled to operate April 2, 5, 9 and 12, then suspended until June 8 when they will operate on Mondays and Fridays

American Airlines

  • Chicago O’Hare – Nonstop flights suspended April 7-May 6
  • Dallas-Fort Worth – Reduced to 5 flights per day April 7-May 6
  • Los Angeles – Nonstop flights suspended April 7-May 6
  • Phoenix – Reduced to 3 flights per day April 7-May 6

Delta Air Lines

  • Atlanta – Reduced to 2 flights on April 1 then reduced to 1 flight per day April 2-May 1
  • Los Angeles – Reduced to 2 flights per day March 30-May 1
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul – Service ends after April 1
  • Salt Lake City – 3 flights most days
  • Seattle – Service ends after April 2

Frontier Airlines

  • Denver – Seasonal service has ended early; all remaining flights through April 9 are cancelled

Southwest Airlines – Frequency reductions are being phased in on a day-by-day basis. The temporary changes below will be effective by April 14

  • Chicago Midway – 1 flight per per day
  • Denver – Reduced to 2 flights per day through May 7
  • Las Vegas – Reduced to 2 flights per day through May 7
  • Los Angeles – Reduced to 1 flight per day through May 7
  • San Diego – 2 flights per day Mondays-Fridays, 1 flight per day Saturdays and Sundays through May 7
  • San Jose – 1 flight Sundays only, Monday-Friday flights suspended until June 8

Sun Country Airlines

  • Minneapolis/St. Paul – Seasonal service has ended early; all remaining flights through April 13 are cancelled

United Airlines

  • Chicago O’Hare – 1 flight per day
  • Denver – Reduced to 3 flights per day April 1-30
  • Houston – Reduced to 2 flights per day April 1-30
  • San Francisco – Reduced to 2 flights per day April 1-30

Airlines have relaxed rules regarding change fees, even on non-refundable fares. Many changes can be done online by passengers who purchased their tickets directly from their airline. Passengers who booked their flights elsewhere should seek to make changes where they purchased their tickets. Airlines report their phone reservations systems are being overwhelmed resulting in extraordinarily long wait times and are asking that only passengers traveling within the next 72 hours call.

In the meantime, passengers can check the most up-to-date flight schedules to or from Tucson and any destination using the Plan Your Trip tool here.

Other Actions at TUS

In response to passenger activity and public health recommendations to limit person-to-person contact, the following temporary changes are being implemented at TUS:

  • Most food concessions in the terminal are closed except Sir Veza’s Taco Garage on the A concourse (Frontier, Southwest, Sun Country and United airlines) and El Charro Café on the B concourse (Alaska, American and Delta airlines), both of which open 90 minutes before the first departure of the day on the concourse and close with the final departure of the night, and Market Express, a grab-and-go snack bar, is open at the C gates (for Allegiant flights). All three are located in the post-security area. More information about the food concessions can be found here.
  • Three retail stores remain open in the terminal. Arroyo Trading Post, pre-security on the ticketing level is open from 6 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. Post-security Gates Pass By Hudson on the A Concourse and Ft. Lowell by Hudson on the B Concourse open 90 minutes before the first departure of the day and close with the final departure on each concourse. More information about the retail concessions is here.
  • American Airlines curbside bag check is suspended until further notice. (Southwest is the only airline at TUS currently offering curbside bag check.)
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection Global Entry Enrollment Center is closed until May 1.
  • The Military Lounge is closed as a result of Department of Defense restrictions eliminating most travel through May 11.
  • Passenger assistance provided by TUS Airport Ambassadors is suspended until further notice.
  • The Airport Lost & Found office is closed to the public but can be reached by phone at (520) 573-8156 during business hours. More information is here.
  • The Tucson Airport Authority Administration Offices are closed to the public. Employees can be reached by email or phone. The main phone number is (520) 573-8100. (Please note that administration office employees are not working Monday, March 30, in observance of the Cesar Chavez Day holiday. Public safety and operations personnel are on duty, as always.)

What’s Being Done at TUS

At Tucson International Airport (TUS) our custodial team takes pride in maintaining the airport terminal to the highest standards (which has been recognized by passengers in our annual customer service surveys). We know this is no time to waiver from those high standards. The following are some of the prescribed precautions TAA is taking for the safety of our passengers and employees.

  • Increased frequency of cleaning and monitoring of restrooms and “high-touch” areas (handrails, armrests, etc.) with EPA-approved disinfectants that are designed to kill bacteria/viruses within 5 minutes of application. (All restrooms are disinfected every night using specialized sanitation machines.)
  • Waiting areas are now being disinfected overnight, in addition to being disinfected multiple times throughout the day.
  • More instant hand sanitizer dispensers are being placed in the terminal.
  • Assuring soap-and-water (the preferred method for washing hands) is maintained in restrooms near food service areas.
  • HVAC systems have been cleaned and sanitized and are equipped with HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters.
  • The TAA Communicable Disease Plan for TUS has been updated and circulated to the airlines, tenants, local, state and federal partners. The plan conforms to the guidance recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Personal Precautions

These precautions from health officials have been shared with TAA employees and is considered recommended advice for all:

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. (Alternatively, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.)
  • Try to stay 3 feet away from unknown individuals and stay at least 6 feet away from sick individuals.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a disinfectant cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Seek medical care if you have:
    • A persistent temperature elevation of 103° to 104° despite using fever reducing medication
    • A sustained dry cough
    • Difficulty catching your breath

COVID-19 Travel FAQs

Do I need to be concerned if I have a flight today?

With more flights being cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important your airline has your contact information so you can be advised of changes before coming to the airport. You can check current status of flights at TUS here.

What about future flights?

Airlines are rapidly making schedule changes to remove flights. If you are booking a future flight, you will not be able to buy a ticket on a flight that has been removed from the schedule (in some cases a removed flight may appear on the schedule but will show as “sold out”). If you previously booked a flight that has since been taken out of the schedule, the airline will contact you by email, text or phone message to offer choices to re-book on another flight, receive a credit for a future flight, or, in some cases, receive a refund. You can check current TUS airline schedules using the Plan Your Trip tool here.

I'm worried about booking a flight, what if something happens to me?

Airlines are relaxing requirements, even on non-refundable fares, to allow changes to reservations and apply the value of the ticket for another flight within one year from the date of purchase. Currently this applies to tickets purchased in March, but American and Delta airlines have extended this to include tickets purchased through April 15. Remember, too, that Southwest Airlines does not charge change fees. Passengers who change their flights pay any difference if the new flight has a higher fare or receive a credit if the new flight has a lower fare.

I purchased an airline ticket before March, can I change it?

Yes, most U.S. airlines are now allowing changes on non-refundable tickets purchased prior to March 1 for a domestic flight scheduled to be taken by the end of May. Depending on the airline the value of the ticket can be applied to another flight by a certain deadline, usually either before the end of the year or within 12 months of the date of the original purchase.

Is TSA doing anything differently at the security checkpoints?

One of the more significant changes for travelers is that TSA is now permitting passengers to carry-on liquid hand sanitizer containers up to 12 ounces until further notice. These containers larger than the standard allowance of 3.4 ounces of liquids will need to be screened separately, which will add some time to the checkpoint screening experience.

Otherwise, the following precautions remain in effect at TSA checkpoints:

  • Disinfectant sprays that are flammable are prohibited in either carry-on or checked bags. (TSA has a “What Can I Bring?” tool here.)
  • There are no restrictions on bringing disinfectant wipes through security.
  • Passengers may request TSA officers use new gloves during the screening process. Officers are directed to use a fresh swab for each passenger when testing for explosive material.

To help reduce risk of spreading viruses, passengers are reminded to keep safe distances while waiting in the security queue and to secure personal items normally carried in their pockets (phone, wallet, keys, coins, etc.) in the carry-on they put though the X-ray system rather than putting them loosely in a bin.

The TSA is providing updated information about the coronavirus is here.

Is the airport screening arriving or departing passengers for coronavirus?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at this time has not ordered routine health screening of passengers at TUS because there are no nonstop flights to or from high-risk areas. TAA Emergency Medical Services, which responds to medical situations at TUS, has been provided with the latest guidance and is prepared to address specific concerns when advised to do so by the CDC. Flight crews and airport personnel are required to contact the CDC if an individual is sick with specific symptoms.

Should I arrive earlier than normal for my flight?

So far the impacts have not increased the time it takes to check in and go through TSA security.

Should I wear a face mask?

Health officials and the CDC recommend that healthy people not wear face masks. Surgical face masks are designed to keep potential viruses to the person wearing it and should only be worn by those who are sick or exhibiting flu-like symptoms to keep from spreading viruses to others.

Why are some airport employees wearing face masks?

That is a personal decision. There is no TAA policy prohibiting employees from wearing face masks for health reasons while they’re working. Per the recommendations of health care officials, employees who are sick are advised to stay home. Custodial employees are required to wear gloves when performing their duties.

What is the risk of getting COVID-19 on an airplane?

Because of how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes, most viruses and other germs do not spread easily on airplanes, according to the CDC. On average, cabin air is completely refreshed 20 times per hour (compared with 12 times per hour in a typical office building). Although the risk of infection on an airplane is low, travelers should avoid contact with sick individuals and continue following hygiene standards to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Rumor Control

Want to know if something you heard about COVID-19 is fact or fiction? The Federal Emergency Management Agency, an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, has answers on the following link:

FEMA Rumor Control

CDC Contact

Use the link below to see current information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

CDC Coronavirus (COVID-19)

 

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Tucson International Airport
7250 South Tucson Boulevard
Tucson, AZ 85756
(520) 573-8100