Blade to Require Passengers Be Vaccinated Starting Next Month
(Bloomberg) -- Blade Urban Air Mobility will be among the first U.S. flight-providers to require passengers be fully vaccinated for Covid-19.
Starting Sept. 7, those booking a seat on one of its flights will have to submit a self-certification and may be required to show proof before boarding, Chief Executive Officer Rob Wiesenthal said. Passengers under the age of 12 and those with a medical exemption will be excluded.
Blade sells premium-priced seats on flights generally carrying six to 16 passengers to resort destinations such as Aspen, Nantucket and Miami. It also offers helicopter rides to JFK Airport from Manhattan, and plans to start service from Westchester County to Manhattan during weekday commuting hours.
No major U.S. airline has yet issued a mandate for passengers. United Airlines was the first to require employee vaccinations, while Delta, Southwest and American airlines have said they won’t mandate employees do so.
Customers in New York and Los Angeles may be ready to comply, since both cities have made moves to require proof of at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine for indoor dining and venues like movie theaters.
“If it’s required at a restaurant where you are sitting at a table with people you know, it would make sense that vaccinations should be required when you are sitting directly next to someone you don’t know on a commercial flight,” Wiesenthal said.
Blade’s policy currently excludes flights originating in Florida, which has banned vaccine mandates.
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