Major Airlines Implement CDC-Recommended Sanitization Methods


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Many attendees’ journey to the NATDA Trailer Show begins and ends at their local airports. In response to COVID-19, many airlines have issued statements on updated cleaning procedures taking place inside their aircraft to assure customers that flying is indeed a safe option.

Here’s a list of the additional procedures that four of the country’s biggest airline providers, Delta Air Lines, Inc., Southwest Airlines Co., United Airlines, Inc. and American Airlines, Inc., are doing to keep customers safe:


Delta Airlines
  • All domestic aircraft will undergo the same interior cleaning overnight that Delta has been using to sanitize international aircraft in the U.S. since February.
  • Before every flight, aircraft will be cleaned using the same extensive checklist used during overnight cleanings. This industry-leading work disinfects high-touch areas customers care most about being clean, like tray tables, seat-back entertainment screens, armrests and seat-back pockets.
  • Spot checks will take place before each flight by a Customer Service Agent and a Flight Leader to ensure the aircraft is up to the Delta Clean standard. The team can resolve any issues immediately, and are empowered to request a cleaning crew return to the aircraft for additional cleaning.
  • Aircraft will be sanitized before every flight in Delta’s network. The disinfectant used is immediately safe to breathe and is similar to what hospitals and restaurants use to sanitize. RELATED: Delta achieves 100% sanitization of flights.
  • Delta will offer hand sanitizer at various touchpoints while disinfecting surfaces across the airport experience. The same level of attention and care will be given to employee workspaces like lounges and break rooms.

These updates were gathered from a larger release. For all of Delta Air Lines, Inc.'s updated procedures, please click here.


Southwest Airlines
  • An electrostatic disinfectant and anti-microbial spray is applied on every surface of the aircraft that kills viruses on contact and forms an anti-microbial coating or shield for 30 days.
  • Sani-Cide EX3, a broad-spectrum disinfectant, will be used to clean commonly used areas (onboard lavatories, tray tables, armrests, seat belts, flight attendant call buttons, and overhead bin handles) before every flight. (Begins mid-May)
  • Deep cleaning of each plane from nose to tail for nearly 6-7 hours every night.
  • Gate areas, ticket counters, and baggage claim areas are cleaned multiple times a day.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available at the airport and wipes will be available onboard for Customers.
  • HEPA air filters onboard aircraft, which remove 99.97% of airborne particles—similar to technology found in hospitals.
  • Limiting the number of people on board each flight to provide Customers more personal space so there will be no need for the middle seat to be occupied (currently through June). But if you’re traveling together, you can still sit together.
  • Boarding in groups of 10 and only on one side of our boarding poles to help Customers spread out.

These updates were gathered from a larger release. For all of Southwest Airlines, Co.'s updated procedures, please click here.


United Airlines
  • Electrostatic spraying on every departure, in addition to disinfecting customer touchpoints and surfaces before every flight.
  • All mainline aircraft use a high-efficiency (HEPA) filter (like those found in hospitals) to circulate the air and remove up to 99.7% of airborne particles.
  • Reduced onboard contact by changing current foodservice and the temporary removal of onboard items.
  • Enhanced signage in both customer and employee spaces, including a 6 ft. tape rule at the ticket counters which allows for minimal contact between agents and customers, and sneeze guards at key interaction points including check-in counters and gate podiums.
  • Equipping employees with sanitizer and other supplies to deliver a safe travel experience, implementing employee temperature checks and reducing close contact.

These updates were gathered from a larger release. For all of United Airlines, Inc.'s updated procedures, please click here.


American Airlines
  • Using disinfectant approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and includes on customer areas, tray tables, seatbelt buckles, armrests, window shades, seatback screens, door and overhead bin handles.
  • Enhanced galley cleaning, jumpseats and crew rest seats, cockpit surfaces as well.
  • Expanded cleaning procedures in the cabin, increased provisioning of hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes for crew members, and expanded fogging with an EPA-registered hospital-grade disinfectant in all public areas on aircraft.
  • Expanded deeper cleanings and disinfection to all regional flights.
  • Distribution of sanitizing wipes or gels and face masks to customers.
  • Flight attendants are required to wear face masks during every mainline and regional flight beginning May 1. In addition, the airline has added a drawer in the galley on every mainline flight containing personal protective equipment, including masks for flight attendants and pilots, and other sanitizing items.
  • All American Airlines mainline aircraft and most regional aircraft are equipped with High-Efficiency
  • Particulate Air (HEPA) filters. In addition, the cabin air in all of the aircraft is changed approximately 15 to 30 times per hour, or once every two to four minutes, similar to the standard for hospitals.
    Expanded frequency of cleaning including gate areas, ticket counters, passenger service counters, baggage service offices and team member rooms.
  • Stanchions to encourage social distancing at gates and ticket counters. Some computers and kiosks at ticket counters have been turned off to create more space between customers, and digital signs at gates promote health and safety while gate announcements discourage crowding at the gate.

These updates were gathered from a larger release. For all of American Airlines, Inc.'s updated procedures, please click here.