You Can Now Buy Face Masks From Vending Machines at McCarran Airport in Las Vegas
The vending machines will include items like hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, and gloves.
Last-minute travel essentials to grab at the airport used to include items like ibuprofen, small shampoo bottles, and neck pillows. In the age of coronavirus, however, that list now features hand sanitizer, masks, and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), too.
As most major U.S. airlines begin to mandate face masks and coverings for passengers, McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas has become the first airport in the country to install PPE vending machines in its terminals.
"The whole world is going through behavioral modification and learning new habits, so it's not unthinkable that someone could show up at the airport and not have the new necessities that are part of travel,” McCarran Airport spokesperson Christine Crews told CNN.
In the vending machines, travelers will find items like hand sanitizer (priced from $4.25 to $6.50), disposable disinfecting wipes ($5.25), and packs of gloves ($4.50). For those seeking face masks, disposable KN95 masks are available for $8.25, and a reusable cloth mask (in both adult and child sizes) is $14.50.
The PPE vending machines could host a rotating stock of protective items, based on what’s available.
Travelers will find the machines in McCarran’s Terminal 1 ticketing area and near the TSA checkpoint at Terminal 3.
While the airport did not announce specific cleaning protocols for the machines themselves, it did state that it has “doubled down on cleaning and sanitizing practices” throughout the terminals, focusing on high-touch areas.
Passengers who show up to the airport without a face covering may be able to get one for free from their airline. American Airlines, for example, announced that it would distribute kits containing face masks and disinfecting wipes for passengers on board its flights.
Some airports, like Los Angeles International, now require face masks for all people entering, regardless of whether or not they’re flying.
“Wearing a face covering isn’t about protecting yourself — it’s about protecting those around you,” Joanna Geraghty, president and COO of JetBlue, said in a press release. “This is the new flying etiquette.”