Southwest is introducing enhanced cleaning measures to ensure passenger and crew safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. The improvements are being rolled out as part of a program called the Southwest Promise. Here's a look at what's being implemented:

  • Enhanced cleaning practices across the Southwest fleet.
  • Modified procedures to support social distancing and contact-free interactions.
  • More resources for employee safety and protection.

Southwest is using an electrostatic disinfectant and anti-microbial spray on every surface inside its aircraft. This special cleaning method is said to kill viruses on contact. It also leaves a protective shield on surfaces for up to 30 days. Southwest already uses HEPA air filters on its planes to remove 99.97 percent of airborne particles. All aircraft will be disinfected 'from nose to tail' daily. Additionally, all of Southwest's gate areas, ticket counters and baggage areas will be cleaned multiple times per day. The airline also intends to have Plexiglas® installed at all of these areas in the days to come.

Customers can expect some changes when they fly with Southwest. For instance, the airline has stopped serving beverages and snacks on its flights until further notice. The airline is also blocking the first and last few rows on its planes for now. The number of people allowed to board each flight will also be limited up through June to ensure that middle seats do not need to be occupied. This will allow for passengers to sit at least a full seat apart.

Southwest is also encouraging passengers to supply their own masks and sanitizing wipes. Face masks and coverings will become mandatory for Southwest passengers starting on May 11. The airline will be supplying masks to any passengers without masks. Wipes are also available upon request at every seat. Make sure to take a look at the long list of updates and changes that are part of the Southwest Promise if you'll be flying with the airline in the coming weeks. Complete details can be found here.

Scott Dylan is a contributing writer at GET.com and has been to (almost) every country in North, Central and South America with nothing more than a backpack, a laptop and the desire to explore. He speaks Spanish fluently and has logged enough time in planes, trains, rideshares, buses, taxis and rickshaws to know how to rack up rewards and points to get anywhere his heart desires for pennies on the dollar. Email: scott.dylan@get.com.