COVID-19: How Airlines are Protecting Travelers
The safety of passengers and employees is the top priority of U.S. airlines. Since the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic, carriers have been working closely with Congress, the Trump Administration and federal agencies including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Airlines are following — or exceeding — all guidance from the CDC to help contain and stop the spread of COVID-19. Carriers have added layers of protection to help protect passengers throughout their journey, from requiring facial coverings to enhancing cleaning protocols, such as electrostatic and fogging procedures. Some have implemented new boarding procedures and reduced beverage service to limit interaction.
Most aircraft also have High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters, which generate air as clean as an ICU. According to the CDC, “Because of how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes, most viruses and other germs do not spread easily on flights.”
Here are just some of the common commercial airline procedures in response to the pandemic and corresponding safety concerns:
Airlines have increased their cleaning procedures between flights. They are utilizing disinfectants that are effective against viruses to supplement regularly scheduled cleanings.
Employees and guests are required to wear masks while traveling.
Airport signage reminds guests to “Mind Your Wingspan” with stickers six feet apart at ticket counters, baggage drops, customer service centers and gate areas.
On planes, EPA-approved disinfectant is used on customer areas, such as seatbelt buckles, armrests and window shades and in team member areas, including jump-seats and crew rest seats.
The seating policy has been relaxed on most flights with roughly 50% of all standard middle seats blocked to allow for passenger distancing.
Source: Airlines for America® (airlines.org)