United has introduced a new sanitisation and cleaning programme in partnership with surface disinfection brand Clorox, and academic medical centre Cleveland Clinic.
The US carrier said the programme, known as United CleanPlus, will “inform and guide” its cleaning, safety and social distancing protocols. The carrier said it has already introduced touch-less kiosks in “select locations” for baggage check-in, sneeze guards, mandatory face coverings for crew and customers, and is “giving customers options when flights are more full” such as allowing them to take alternative flights when the carrier expects a flight to operate over 70 per cent capacity.
Clorox products will first roll out at United’s hub airports in Chicago and Denver and will be used in the gate and terminal areas, with “additional locations to follow”. The carrier said it is working closely with the surface disinfection brand to enhance and “redefine” disinfection procedures.
United said it has consulted with the Cleveland Clinic for guidance on the airline’s policies and procedures. Medical experts from the Cleveland Clinic will also advise on new technologies, training development and quality assurance programming, said the carrier.
The carrier is also temporarily shutting down self-service kiosks and beginning to roll out “in select locations” touch-less kiosks that allow customers to print bag tags using their own device to scan a QR code.
Here are some of the other measures United said it is taking to enhance safety:
In airport lobbies:
- Signage, including a six ft. rule at the ticket counters.
- Sneeze guards at “key interaction points” including at check-in counters.
At the gate:
- Boarding fewer customers at a time to minimise crowding.
- Asking customers to self-scan their boarding passes.
- Giving employees disinfecting products so they can disinfect areas such as armrests and handrails.
In the United lounges:
- Protective sneeze guards installed at credentialing desks and customer services.
- Requiring “team members” to use personal protective equipment.
- “Increased” frequency of cleaning and equipping staff with disinfectant cleaning products.
- Removed seating at the bar area for physical distancing.
- Introduced pre-packaged food and beverages at bar area.
- Beginning May 22, United will introduce an “all in one” economy snack bag that replaces the economy beverage and complimentary snack choice service on domestic flights scheduled two hours and 20 minutes or more. This bag will include a wrapped sanitiser wipe, bottled water, a snack known as Stroopwafel and a package of pretzels.
- “Enhancing cabin sanitisation” including electrostatic spraying for every flight starting June.
- Requiring all employees and customers on board to wear a mask or face covering.
- Giving individually wrapped hand sanitiser wipes to customers as they board.
- Limiting advance seat selections “where possible” and allowing customers to take alternative flights when a flight is over 70 per cent capacity.
The carrier said it will also be conducting temperature checks for employees at the start of their workday.