U.S. top airlines such as American, Delta, United, Southwest and Jetblue have taken never before seen cleaning and safety procedures to adapt to our new Covid19 reality. In our research, we found that these airlines are using additional electrostatic spraying to disinfect their planes with an EPA-registered hospital-grade disinfectant on both hard and soft surfaces. For American and Delta, most of their aircrafts have High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters that provide a complete air change approximately 15–30 times per hour. HEPA air filters extract more than 99.999% of even the tiniest viruses, as small as 0.01 micrometers. In the case of Southwest and Jetblue, all of their planes have HEPA filters.
In addition, they have created an extensive cleaning protocol for customer and team member areas throughout the airport and inside planes. Delta is committed to following a thorough cleaning checklist to ensure everything is sanitized before every flight. This process includes ticket counters, gates, jet bridges, tray tables, seat-back entertainment screens, armrests, and seat-back pockets.
At least until the end of June, these airlines are limiting the number of people onboard on each flight to provide customers more personal space for safer distancing. They are also requiring the use of face masks for everyone’s safety.
Some of these airlines have made adjustments to their service by minimizing the physical transactions and touchpoints between customers and crewmembers. As a result of this extra precaution and in adherence to current health guidelines, most have either limited or completely canceled their food and beverage service during flights.
For the following months, all airlines will keep adjusting their cleaning and sanitization procedures to ensure safe travel for all. We suggest travelers read each airline’s new safety standards as well as CDC, US Dept. of State-Travel, and WHO recommendations before they travel.