After the early 2020 shutdowns that grounded airlines, it’s been a cautious return to air travel. Some travelers were eager to take to the skies as soon as possible while others preferred to hit the road in the comfortable seclusion of a vehicle.
In an effort to rebuild the industry, airlines have been vigilantly implementing new policies, updating technology, and adding safety measures to protect the health of passengers. If you’ve been cautious about getting back on a plane or deciding if your organization should resume air travel, here’s what to know about the industry’s new standards.
Cabin air quality and circulation
Did you know that the cabin of an airplane is likely the safest public enclosed space? In fact, one study found that there was less contamination in the air of a plane cabin than there is in the average home!
In the era of the coronavirus, when many travelers are hesitant to spend time in a confined space with hundreds of strangers, airlines have been vigilant about upgrading their air filtration systems with HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters. Thanks to these new systems, the air in cabins is now completely replaced every 2-3 minutes!
So if you’ve been troubled by the thought of breathing the same air as hundreds of strangers for the duration of a flight, rest assured: the air on a plane may be safer than the air you’re breathing right in your own home!
Health and sanitation policies
Now that cleanliness and sanitation are inextricably linked to traveler safety, airlines are implementing much stricter and more thorough cleanliness and sanitation standards. Crews use electrostatic sprayers to disinfect every surface and also perform more frequent deep cleans, which include vacuuming every seat and shampooing the cabin carpet.
Some commercial airlines, like Delta, disinfect and clean their aircrafts after every flight. Budget airlines, like Spirit and Frontier, that have much quicker turns—the time between when a flight lands and when it departs again—have introduced thorough disinfection policies but do not disclose whether the process is deployed between each flight.
Updated passenger guidelines
All airlines have implemented new passenger guidelines to promote safe travel. This includes asking passengers to conduct personal health evaluations before traveling, taking each passenger’s temperature before allowing them to board the aircraft, and mandating masks both in airports and onboard the aircraft. Physical distancing is enforced in airports, and some airlines are still blocking middle seats to maintain more space between passengers. With these new guidelines, every traveler is expected to do their part to help keep others safe.
Thanks to new technology, increased sanitation standards, the use of HEPA filters, and more, airlines are making it safer than ever to return to air travel.
If your team is ready to resume air travel, the experts at Professional Travel a Direct Travel Company are here to help! We’ll evaluate the health and safety practices of businesses within the travel industry so you’re equipped to make the best decision for your organization.
Learn about Direct Travel's customized approach to corporate travel management.