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McCarran airport rolls out PPE vending machines

Updated May 14, 2020 - 4:37 pm

McCarran International Airport is known for eye-catching vending machines that sell everything from cupcakes to Legos. Now, with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Las Vegas’ airport has installed machines selling personal protective equipment.

Touting itself as the first airport to deploy the PPE machines, McCarran introduced them Thursday via its social media platforms.

“A lot has changed for all of us recently and we’re all trying to learn new behaviors, and that certainly applies in the airport environment and travel now,” said Christine Crews, airport spokeswoman. “It’s not unthinkable that someone will show up at the airport and has left behind one of these items that’s almost essential now to air travel.”

The machines, located in the Terminal 1 ticketing area and near the Transportation Security Administration checkpoint in Terminal 3, feature various items that promote safety.

Travelers can find gloves, masks, disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer and more in the machines.

Prices vary from $4.25 to $6.50 for various hand sanitizer options, while reusable cloth masks for both adults and children are $14.50, a three-pack of disposable masks runs $7.50, and a KN95 disposable mask is $8.25. Prices are subject to change based on supply or demand, Crews said.

They are the latest addition to the airport’s safety protocols amid the pandemic. McCarran has closed several areas of the nation’s 10th-busiest airport, consolidated parking and more after seeing a decline of over 2 million passengers year over year in March.

April numbers, expected to be released this month, are expected to be even lower, as the mandated shutdown of resort properties on the Las Vegas Strip didn’t occur until March 18.

With the 24-hour nature of the vending machines, they’re a convenient option for those traveling amid the mass closures at McCarran, Crews said.

“A vending machine is always open,” she said. “If you look at the fact that we have reduced flight schedules here and we have a lot of people who may be delayed, or canceled based on availability, that the vending machine option is always there and always open to them.”

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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