The COVID 19 pandemic has been very hard on the airline industry. At a time when world governments are encouraging social distancing, getting people to go on a plane with close seating has been very difficult. However, passengers that must fly for business or other purposes should be aware that the airlines are all going to great extents to keep their planes safe.
Every major American airline has implemented additional cleaning processes into their daily routines. All airlines have stated that they are using medical-grade disinfectants to clean their planes to ensure the destruction of the virus on surfaces. In addition to using these stronger cleaners, the airlines have issued statements regarding their coronavirus policies:
- Each airline stated that they are giving each plane a detailed cleaning each night, with two airlines saying that they have dedicated 6-7 hours per night per aircraft to cleaning and disinfecting everything on the planes.
- United Airlines has stated that in addition to the detailed cleanings, they will also use a fogging sanitizer on all aircraft that were used for international flights.
- All airlines have reported increased sanitation efforts at their kiosks and help desks in an effort to reduce the spread of the virus.
- Many airlines are closing their lounges or restricting the number of passengers that can enter at any one time. Many lounges offering buffets are canceling food service so that the virus cannot spread via the serving utensils.
- Southwest Airlines has discontinued beverage service except for canned water as a way to reduce interaction between attendants and passengers. All snack services have been suspended as well.
- All airlines have stated that they will follow CDC recommendations regarding symptomatic passengers or flight crew. If a person on a plane, either passenger or crew member, exhibits symptoms of coronavirus, the airlines will take the aircraft out of service for decontamination efforts.
Reps from all the airlines have stated that their policies regarding the coronavirus will continue to evolve as guidelines from the CDC, WHO, and government are released.