As the coronavirus spreads across the world, airlines are taking new measures to reassure passengers that the aircrafts are safe, and clean. When it comes to airlines disinfecting for coronavirus, there’s a full procedure that they follow.
From handing out hand sanitiser to passengers to wiping down all surfaces and fogging the plane with disinfectant, here’s the extra steps that airlines are taking…
How Airlines Are Disinfecting For The Coronavirus
The below applies specifically to United Airlines and Delta, but airlines all over the world are following similar procedures.
First up: while you might think that airplanes are just recirculating the same air, Delta says all of its international planes and many domestic have “state-of-the-art air circulation systems” with air filters which “extract more than 99.999% of even the tiniest viruses, as small as 0.01 micrometers.”
If a coronavirus patient has been on a United flight, the aircraft is taken out of service for a full fumigation and sterilisation, which includes shampooing the carpets.
All headsets, headrest covers, pillow covers, bedsheets, and blankets are also changed after every flight sector. We will also disinfect all aircraft arriving from Mainland China, Hong Kong and South Korea by fogging them. (2/2)
— Singapore Airlines (@SingaporeAir) March 4, 2020
Airline crew have to complete a rigorous 19-point checklist for cabin cleanliness:
This includes ‘disinfecting cabin surfaces and customer contact areas such as seats, seatback pockets, tray tables and floors.’
Usually, crew will just tidy up any visible trash in between flight routes and wipe down main surfaces. A deep clean happens once every six weeks or so. So, you can be sure that the plane you travel on now is cleaner than ever before.
Delta is also handing out toilet supply kits on many international and transcontinental flights. These kits include gloves, disinfectant wipes, a mini-mop with handle, a trash bag and a device for trash pickup. This is great, as it’s important to avoid touching surfaces in public places, such as public bathrooms.
Additional measures for Delta U.S.-bound flights from Asia
All items on inbound Asia flights are undergoing extra sanitation and disinfectant procedures:
- All tableware, dishes, cutlery and glassware are disinfected before washing.
- Delta is sanitising and washing inbound linen and headphones separately from other linen and headphones.
Delta is also increasing their supply of ‘wellness items’ for passengers. This includes hand sanitizer, gloves and surgical masks for customers and crews on all flights in and out of Asia.
All customers on long-haul international flights will also get amenity kits, which contain hand sanitizer or cleansing towelettes. Keep in mind that it’s the other passengers that will be most contagious, so try to sit as far away from other people as you can.
You can read more of our coronavirus travel tips here.