Yesterday, I posted an article about what really happens during airline cabin cleaning. If you missed it, you can read it here. Alaska Airlines just began an enhanced cleaning program. Here is what I saw when I flew yesterday.
Yesterday, Shelly and I flew from Seattle to Phoenix in first class on flight 650. There were changes in both cleaning and flight attendant service. Alaska Airlines management worked with doctors at the University of Washington to identify critical “touchpoints” that need special attention when cleaning. Alaska Airlines is also following guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
As I wrote about yesterday, the turnaround is the time between arriving at the gate and the next flight pushing back from the gate. Between deplaning and boarding passengers, there has been just enough time for cabin cleaners to pick up trash and do a cursory cleaning of the restrooms. Alaska Airlines is now sanitizing the following during turnarounds:
- Tray tables,
- Overhead controls: air vent, light button, call button,
- Exterior and interior door handles to lavatories and
- Center console between first class seats.
When aircraft are parked for the night, a deeper layer of cleaning takes place. In addition to the usual cleaning standards of these more lengthy cleanings, they now include disinfecting of:
- The front and backs of seats,
- Window shades and
- Handles to carry-on compartments.
Inflight Service Changes
There were changes to inflight services that went into effect two days ago. These changes were particularly evident in first class. Alaska Airlines has suspended hot towel service that was offered before the beverage service started. They are also not using glassware in first class, replacing the glass with plastic cups. The plastic cups are used once and discarded. When you get a drink refill, you get a new plastic cup.
Alaska Airlines is taking the coronavirus seriously to protect both passengers and their employees. After my post, yesterday on airliner cabin cleaning, any enhancements to cabin cleaning is a step in the right direction. Alaska Airlines is taking a leadership position in tackling this virus and they should be applauded for their steps.