U.S. airlines are committed to helping protect the safety and wellbeing of passengers and employees. Since the onset of this crisis, carriers have been implementing enhanced cleaning procedures that meet – and frequently exceed – guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
As our country begins to re-open and travelers prepare to return to the skies, U.S. carriers are taking extra steps to ensure that all travelers are able to “Fly Healthy. Fly Smart.” From check-in to touchdown, travelers will encounter new protocols throughout the journey.
Before leaving home, be sure to pack a mask or face covering. All A4A carriers are requiring passengers and customer-facing employees to wear a face covering during the entire travel journey. The TSA has also implemented a policy requiring employees to wear face coverings while conducting screenings.
At the airport, check-in kiosks are disinfected more frequently, and some of the ticket counters now have plexiglass shields as an extra layer of protection between agents and passengers. Some airlines have marked the floors to ensure travelers keep distance between each other. That’s why all passengers are encouraged to check-in for their next flight on their smartphones, if able, to avoid touchpoints.
Airlines are achieving higher standards of aircraft cabin cleanliness by increasing the frequency of cleaning procedures with EPA-approved disinfectants that are effective against viruses and the use of technology, such as electrostatic spraying and fogging, which use anti-microbial solutions to treat hard and soft surfaces.
Carriers also have adjusted boarding policies and in-flight service to minimize personal contact and frequent touchpoints as an additional preventative measure.
U.S. passenger carriers are equipped with High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters, which clean the air multiple times an hour and hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes are available for passengers. Recently, Harvard Professor Joseph Allen wrote in the Washington Post, “The ventilation system requirements for airplanes meet the levels recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for use with covid-19 patients in airborne infection isolation rooms.” His full piece, Airplanes don’t make you sick. Really., goes on to say that, “There’s a reason the risks are low. The required aircraft systems do a really good job of controlling airborne bacteria and viruses.”
As airlines add layers of protection, travelers are encouraged to #FlyHealthyFlySmart by following CDC recommendations :
- Comply with face covering guidelines and wear the covering over your nose and mouth.
- Wash your hands with soap and water often for at least 20 seconds.
- If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. (The TSA allows one liquid hand sanitizer container up to 12 ounces per passenger in carry-on bags.)
- Avoid touching your eyes, hands and mouth.
- Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing.
- Stay home if you are sick.
While the virus has changed how everyday life is conducted, it has not changed the level of commitment and care that airlines seek to provide passengers. By working together, everyone can help to stop and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
For more information about how A4A’s carriers are working to protect the traveling public and our employees, please visit www.AirlinesTakeAction.com.