Airlines Enhance Safety and Cleanliness Programs

JetBlue’s “Safety from the Ground Up” adds protection for both passengers and crew members

JetBlue Airways announced its “Safety from the Ground Up” program that will offer layers of protection for passengers and crewmembers when traveling.

In June, the airline will start to introduce wellness checks that include taking crewmember temperatures and electrostatic aircraft fogging in June.

Inside the aircraft, the airline already requires that crewmembers and passengers wear  face coverings.  In addition, the airline will block seats to ensure that no one is seated directly next to someone who is not in their travel party.  JetBlue will block middle seats on all Airbus aircraft and aisle seats on Embraer 190 regional jets.  Passengers can request disinfectant wipes upon entering the aircraft.

The seating policy will be in place through at least July 6, 2020.

Passengers should have confidence in flying with the precautions in place, according to JetBlue’s CEO Joanna Geraghty. “[T]he steps we’re taking around healthy crewmembers, our clean air and surfaces pillar of the Safety From the Ground Up program, and the more space and fewer touchpoints — these all work together in concert so that customers feel that we’re doing everything we can to create a healthy and safe environment onboard the aircraft,”

The airline is cleaning aircraft before every flight, with a focus on high-touch surfaces such as tray tables and armrests.  It will soon roll out the use of electrostatic sprayers to fog the aircraft cabins, although it did not specify the frequency for doing so.

“We’re known for generous legroom and space, and now more than ever, those choosing to travel want as much space as possible,” said Joanna Geraghty, the airline’s president.

At the airport, the airline will increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting high-touch areas such as kiosks and check-in desk counters.  It will offer hand sanitizer throughout the terminal and pilots will receive disinfectant kits for use on the flight deck.

United Airways Teams With Cleveland Clinic and Clorox to Address Cleanliness and Disinfection

United Airlines announced it plans to introduce a program in partnership with the Cleveland Clinic and Clorox that will address aircraft and airport cleanliness and disinfection amidst the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The new program, dubbed “CleanPlus,” is intended to “to develop protocols designed to help keep customers safe at the airport and onboard,” the airline said. It is currently in the process of being rolled out.

“We recognize that Covid-19 has brought cleanliness and hygiene standards to the front of customers’ minds when making travel decisions, and we’re not leaving a single stone unturned in our pursuit to better protect our customers and employee,” said the airline’s new CEO, Scott Kirby.

The measures United will introduce will be on the aircraft, at the gate, at lounges, and in airport lobbies.  It will also introduce employee wellness checks so each employee’s temperature can be taken at the start of his shift.

On the aircraft, the airline will use electrostatic spraying prior to each flight, starting in June. All employees and customers will continue to be required to wear a face covering on board the aircraft, a policy that is already in place.  All passengers will be given individually wrapped packages containing a hand sanitizer wipe as they board. In coach, the in-flight service will be comprised of an “all in one” economy snack bag that includes a wrapped disinfectant wipe, a bottle of water, a Stroopwafel, and a package of pretzels.

The airline will also allow travelers to take a different flight if the airline indicates that it will operate at over 70% capacity.

At the gate, the airline will board fewer passengers at a time to allow for social distancing and ask passengers to scan their own boarding passes as they enter the jetbridge.

In airport lobbies, United will temporarily shut down self-service kiosks to reduce touchpoints. It will begin to offer touchless kiosks that will print baggage tags when presented with a QR code.  It will also promote social distancing with enhanced signage, deploy sneeze guards at counters, and institute a six-foot rule for “minimal contact between agents and customers.”

In the airline’s United Clubs, there will be sneeze guards at the reception and customer service desks, an increase in the frequency of cleaning high-touch surfaces, and no more seating at the bar area in order to promote social distancing.  The airline will only serve pre-packaged food at this time.


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