Airlines step up efforts to clean aircraft to ease COVID-19 fears

Airlines step up efforts to clean aircraft to ease COVID-19 fears

Now more than ever, concerns are being raised about getting on an airplane. Airlines are trying to ease those fears as much as they can.

Airlines say they have stepped up their efforts to make sure planes are disinfected. But passengers should also make sure to take extra precautions.

“It is extremely important, it is our first priority at Alaska Airlines. Safety is number one and cleanliness is part of that safety,” said Celley Buchanan, spokeswoman for Alaska Airlines.

Alaska Airlines released a video of the improved cleaning procedures done with each aircraft. Buchanan says it consulted with doctors to find out what areas of the plane should get more attention.

“To focus on high touch point areas where guests are sitting at the seats. So the tray table, your seatbelt, your seatbelt buckle, the armrest at your seat, your overhead air vent, and including the flight attendant call button,” she said.

Hawaiian Airlines sent us a statement to address the concerns saying, “Our transpacific aircraft are cleaned and disinfected after every flight using products that effectively kill viruses including COVID-19…Our interisland aircraft are cleaned after every flight and disinfected nightly.”

Southwest Airlines also sent a statement saying, “We spend between 6-7 hours cleaning each aircraft every night… Now, we are expanding the use of the hospital-grade disinfectant throughout the aircraft, and it will be used in the cabin, on elements in the flight deck, and in the lavatory.”

The three airlines say all planes have high efficiency air filters which remove airborne particles and keep the air in the cabins clean.

Experts also add that the best place on the plane to avoid germs is the window seat. Germs don’t circulate as much in that area.

And according to the CDC, if there’s a sick passenger on the flight, you are considered in close contact or at medium risk if you’re within two rows, less than six feet, from that passenger. Outside of that, you are considered low risk.

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