On May 13, McCarran International Airport (LAS) in Las Vegas, Nevada, became the first U.S. airport to install vending machines stocked with personal protective equipment (PPE). There are three vending machines in total: one located in Terminal 3 near the security checkpoint and two in the ticketing area for Terminal 1.
The machines carry a variety of items for purchase to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other germs. The following are currently available:
- Hand sanitizer
- Liquid $4.25
- Spray $6.50
- Alcohol wipes 10 pack for $5.25
- Disposable gloves $4.50 for four pair
- Tissue—three travel packs for $3.50
- Reusable cloth, adult & child sizes $14.50
- Disposable $7.50 for three
- KN95 disposable $8.25
The items may come in handy for travelers who don’t already have their own supplies, especially face masks, considering that all major U.S. airlines are requiring face masks for passengers.
“The airport had these installed because we want passengers to have access to the items they may need to feel confident and comfortable while traveling in current conditions,” wrote McCarran spokesperson Christine Crews via email. She also noted that inventory may change depending on items’ popularity and availability. California-based vending contractor Prepango supplied the vending machines.
The team at McCarran International Airport has undertaken additional measures to protect flyers from the spread of the virus, including increasing cleaning frequency of high-touch surfaces and requesting that entry to the airport be limited to ticketed passengers and employees only.
The airport, which had a record-breaking 51.5 million flyers in 2019, faced a 50 percent year-over-year decline in passengers in March due to COVID-19.
McCarran International Airport may be the first airport to stock vending machines with PPE, but it likely won’t be the last.
Not all airports are going the vending machine route, though. Doug Yakel, public information officer at San Francisco International Airport, confirmed via email that SFO’s management was not presently considering the installation of such vending machines; however, face masks are being handed out for free to flyers who need them.