TRAVEL NEWS — In an effort to help minimize the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), Delta and Alaska Airlines announced enhanced cleaning, protective equipment and education procedures.


Delta Airlines

This week Delta Airlines announced, “6 ways Delta is supporting healthy flying.”

The six are listed below:

  1. Cleaning:
    • Delta doubled its cleaning program for aircraft while adding a fogging process – often used by the food industry– to disinfect transoceanic aircraft interiors.
    • Check-in kiosks receive multiple cleanings throughout the day. Option: Travelers can download the Fly Delta app to check-in.
    • Delta increased the gate area cleaning schedule and supplies are kept on hand for gate agents.
  2. Hand sanitizer:
    • Delta has added more hand sanitizer to hub ticket counters, boarding gates, Need Help Centers, Baggage Service Offices and Delta Sky Clubs.
  3.  HEPA filters and fresh air replacement:
    • Aircraft have either a HEPA filter or a system that pulls fresh air from outside to replace cabin air.
  4. Arming employees with facts and supplies:
    • Employees receive hand sanitizer, gloves and other protective equipment.
    • A cross-divisional COVID-19 command center regularly communicates with employees with updates and recommended procedures.
  5. Listening to experts:
    • “Delta’s Air Crew and Passenger Health Services team has a close relationship with the CDC and WHO, and they’ve increased their contact as guidance evolves to ensure we are taking all necessary precautions for healthy flying.”
  6. Remembering what’s been learned from previous outbreaks:  
    • Using information learned from past outbreaks to help with preparation.

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines regularly updates its blog to offer details on it enhanced COVID-19 cleaning process. Some of the updates are listed below:

  1. Aircraft cabin

Flights with one-hour ground time

  • Extra cleaning for high-touch areas: armrests, seatbelts, tray tables, overhead controls, and lavatory handles.

Flights that remain on ground overnight

 Additional cleaning in these areas:  front and back of seats, window shades, and overhead bin handles.

2. In-flight service adjustments:

  • No refills on used cups.
  • Flight attendants may opt to wear gloves.
  • Suspension of First Class warm towel service.
  • Two-week suspension of onboard recycling to reduce contact with passenger-handled materials.

3.   Passenger empowerment:

  • Passengers are encouraged to travel with hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes. Wipes may be used to wipe down contact areas such as seats, seatbelts, tray tables, and overhead controls.

4.   Airport, lounges & company offices:

  • Additional hand sanitizer dispensers added at airports, company offices, break rooms, lounges, ticket counters, and gates.
  • Suspension of lounge fingerprint biometric scanner.
  • Increased communication with major airport hubs on all enhanced cleaning protocol.

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