Southwest Airlines will keep its planes super clean and disinfected for you, but not if it’s taking up too much time.
Effective August 1, Southwest has decreased how much they clean their planes in between flights. USA Today reports that according to an internal memo to employees, they will have stopped cleaning armrests and seat belts and instead focus on more high-touch areas such as lavatories and tray tables. The memo describes the latter two as, “the most important areas to clean between each flight as they are prone to contamination from Customer use and food/beverage consumption.”
The airline confirmed with Travel + Leisure that the reason for the change is because they are flying more flights, which allows for less downtime in between each flight. Minimizing turnaround time is their priority.
“Since flight schedules have increased, other areas of the aircraft will be disinfected during our overnight cleaning process, when Southwest Teams spend six to seven hours per aircraft cleaning all interior surfaces,” Travel + Leisure was told from a Southwest spokesperson. “Additionally, our electrostatic spraying process applies a disinfectant and spray that forms an anti-microbial coating that kills viruses on contact for 30 days.”
They’ve been doing 6 to 7 hours of cleaning per plane since the virus started, so that’s nothing new. But if their electrostatic spraying process is so good, it makes you wonder why were they even cleaning the seatbelts and armrests before? And why was it important to clean them before August 1, but OK to not clean them now?
Southwest says they’ll provide sanitizing wipes to passengers, upon request, to wipe down surfaces that the airline will no longer clean between flights. Neither USA Today nor T+L mentioned if Southwest said they will tell passengers that their seatbelts and armrests will no longer be cleaned between flights so they know to do it themselves.
The airline also says they’ll continue to monitor customer and employee feedback.
#stayhealthy #staysafe #washyourhands #wearamask
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary