Vegas Airport Installs Vending Machines to Sell PPE, Receives Mixed Reviews

This is what flying in the U.S. during a pandemic looks like.
Fabienne Lang
Las Vegas PPE vending machineMcCarran International Airport/ Twitter

Most flights have come to a slow halt during the current pandemic, however, some authorities are thinking outside the box in order to keep travelers safely moving.

Las Vegas' entrepreneurs are finding ways to keep the city functioning, for instance by offering "virus-free lap dances", and now by adding vending machines selling PPE.

Las Vegas McCarran International Airport is one such authority that decided to install two vending machines that sell face masks, disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, and more in its terminals. The airport shared the news via their Twitter account on May 14th.

The addition, however, is being met with mixed reviews. 


Safe flying

If you're flying from, to, or via Las Vegas McCarran International Airport, you can now buy face masks and other useful anti-COVID-19 protection from one of its two new vending machines. One is near the Terminal 1 ticket counters and the other is by Terminal 3's TSA checkpoint. 

There are face masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, and alcohol wipes for sale, which will help keep the virus at bay while travelers move from point to point.

This type of personal protective equipment (PPE) or gear has been quite tricky to find since the outbreak of the coronavirus spread across the world. Unfortunately, with these becoming scarce around the globe, their prices have inflated quite a bit. Not aided by the fact that these products are now based in an airport, which typically marks up prices, the McCarran Airport vending machine goods' prices are raising a few eyebrows.

Vegas Airport Installs Vending Machines to Sell PPE, Receives Mixed Reviews
One of Las Vegas Airport's vending machines, Source: McCarran Airport/Twitter

A pack of 10 alcohol wipes will cost you $5.25, and a four-pack of gloves will cost $4.50. Liquid hand sanitizer will cost $4.25 per a 1.7 ounce bottle, and disposable KN95 masks cost $8.25 a pop. Cloth reusable masks are $14.50.

California-based company Prepango owns and operated these vending machines.

Many Twitter users have voiced their approval for such a move, whereas others are questioning the point of using a non-touchless vending machine for over-priced goods...

You'd hope most people flying from one place to another would head to the airport already in a face mask, with gloves, hand sanitizer at-the-ready, but with such vending machines growing in popularity, that's not looking like it's the case. 

Ultimately, it's not quite the same good will a Hong Kong billionaire went to in order to provide face masks for low-income residents via vending machines across the territory, but it's something.

We have created an interactive page to demonstrate engineers’ noble efforts against COVID-19 across the world. If you are working on a new technology or producing any equipment in the fight against COVID-19, please send your project to us to be featured.

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