What are the airlines doing to keep me safe when I fly?

CheapAir travelers have asked what airlines are doing in the era of Covid-19, and while there are no perfect solutions, we are tracking new developments, and will keep you updated as airlines continue to roll out safety measures.

airplane at sunset

The evidence shows face masks that cover the nose and mouth protect the public when worn properly. Jetblue was the first domestic airline to mandate face masks for all of its customers, but more airlines have come out in the past few days with similar policies, and we expect this policy to become standard as the weeks and months progress. Here’s a current list of airlines who’ve adopted mandatory face masks, along with other safety considerations:

Alaska Airlines

Masks for passengers:
Required for all travelers as of May 11, 2020. Passengers will be required to bring their own face coverings.

Masks for staff / flight attendants:
Required for all team members while on duty

Enhanced aircraft cleaning standards:
•   All aircraft are now fogged with high-grade EPA-registered disinfectant in public areas
•   Expanded deep cleaning procedures in all public and team member areas of the aircraft (including the cockpit)
•   State-of-the-art HEPA air filtration system

Other safety measures:
•  Middle seats left empty on larger aircraft and aisle seats empty on smaller aircraft to help maintain social distancing (through June 30; policy being evaluated on an ongoing basis)
•  Modified/reduced meal service to limite crew/passenger interactions

American Airlines

Masks for passengers:
Required for all travelers as of May 11, 2020 except while eating and drinking. Limited extra masks are available for passengers. Passengers asked to bring their own.

Masks for staff / flight attendants:
Required for all team members while on duty

Enhanced aircraft cleaning standards:
•   All aircraft are now fogged with high-grade EPA-registered disinfectant in public areas
•   Expanded deep cleaning procedures in all public and team member areas of the aircraft (including the cockpit)
•   State-of-the-art HEPA air filtration system

Other safety measures:
•   Seat modifications to help maintain social distancing (not guaranteed and not available on all flights) through May 31; policy will be evaluated on an ongoing basis
•   Modified/reduced meal service to limit crew/passenger interactions

Delta Airlines

Masks for passengers:
Required for all travelers as of May 4, 2020

Masks for staff / flight attendants:
Required for all team members while on duty

Enhanced aircraft cleaning standards: 
•   All domestic and international aircraft are now fogged overnight with high-grade EPA-registered disinfectant
•   State-of-the-art HEPA air filtration system

Other safety measures through June 30:
•   Modified boarding procedures, from back of the plane to front by row. Delta One, First Class or Diamond Medallion members can board at any time.
•   Reducing total number of passengers per flight to help with social distancing
•   Blocking middle seats in Main Cabin, Delta Comfort and Delta Premium Select (seating capped at 60%); First Class seating capped at 50%)
•   No upgrades processed at the gate
•   Family members and travel companions who would like to sit together should speak to a gate agent
•   Scaling back food and beverage service to “essentials” only, in order to minimize physical touch points between passengers and staff

Frontier Airlines

Masks for passengers:
Required for all travelers as of May 8, 2020

Masks for staff / flight attendants:
Required for all team members while on duty

Enhanced aircraft cleaning standards:
•   All aircraft regularly cleaned using disinfectant deemed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as effective against COVID-19.
•   Elevated cleaning and sanitation of aircraft beyond standard practice during this time.

Other safety measures:
• Effective June 1, 2020, temperatures screenings will be implemented for all passengers and onboard staff prior to boarding. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4° F or higher will not be permitted to board. Touchless thermometers will be used. Travelers will be assessed twice before being denied boarding and Frontier will work to reschedule travel for those who are not permitted to board.
• Frontier adheres to the recommendations set forth by the CDC for “Preventing Spread of Disease on Commercial Aircraft” and also adheres to stringent internal guidelines

Hawaiian Airlines

Masks for passengers:
Required throughout the journey

Masks for staff / flight attendants:  
Masks and gloves are available for team members but not required as stated on the Hawaiian Air website on May 1, 2020

Enhanced aircraft cleaning standards:
•   State-of-the-art HEPA air filtration system
•   Thoroughly disinfect aircraft after each transpacific flight.
•   Interisland aircraft are cleaned after every flight into Honolulu and disinfected nightly

Other safety measures:
•   No beverage refills and no hot towel service at this time
•   Complimentary sanitizing wipes provided for all passengers
•   Seat modifications to help maintain social distancing

Jetblue Airlines

Masks for passengers:
Required for all travelers as of May 4, 2020

Masks for staff / flight attendants:
Required for all team members while on duty

Enhanced aircraft cleaning standards:
•   Increased overnight cleaning and during longer stops during the day
•   State-of-the-art HEPA air filtration system

Other safety measures:
•   Encourage travelers to self-scan boarding passes by downloading a mobile pass from the Jetblue app to reduce touchpoints
•   Crew members will wear medical grade gloves when delivering food service on board
•   Food service will be more limited (water and single snack offerings instead of “snack basket” multiple options) in general economy
•   Reducing total number of passengers per flight to allow for proper social distancing
•   Crew members proactively reviewing seat assignments to allow for even more space where possible
•   Creating “buffer zones” around all inflight crew member jumpseats, for additional crew and customer safety
•   Temporarily suspending sales of all in-flight products including beer, wine and blankets
•   Food service will continue for Mint customers but all glassware and mugs will be single use

Southwest Airlines

Masks for passengers:
Required for all travelers as of May 11, 2020. If you forget a mask at home, one will be provided for you.

Masks for staff / flight attendants:
Required for all team members while on duty

Enhanced aircraft cleaning standards:
•   An electrostatic disinfectant and anti-microbial spray is applied on every surface of the aircraft
•   Beginning mid-May, 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
•   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
•   State-of-the-art HEPA air filtration system
•   The Southwest Promise can be viewed here

Other safety measures:
•   Reducing total number of passengers per flight
•   Middle seats unoccupied through June. If you are traveling with a companion or family member you can still sit together
•   Boarding in groups of 10 to minimize close contact, and on one side of the boarding poles only
•   Temporarily discontinued in-flight beverage and snack service on all flights

Spirit Airlines

Masks for passengers:
Required for passengers throughout the journey

Masks for staff / flight attendants:
Not directly addressed though the airline adheres to the recommendations set forth by the CDC for “Preventing Spread of Disease on Commercial Aircraft” which includes wearing masks and other PPE when aiding a passenger suffering from respiratory symptoms.

Enhanced aircraft cleaning standards:
•   Clorox solutions are used in to disinfectant ticket counters, gate areas, and kiosks in check-in and boarding areas
•   State-of-the-art HEPA air filtration system
•   Electrostatic cleaning devices are used to disinfect Spirit ticket counters, gates, break rooms, maintenance centers, and crew bases in high-traffic airports
•   Enhanced supply kits have elevated onboard cleaning
•   Social-distancing signage has been added at high-traffic ticket counter areas

Other safety measures:
•   Guests are encouraged to travel with extra antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer
•   Snack and beverage service by request only
•   Removed seat back literature to minimize touch points for travelers
•   Self-bag drop

United Airlines

Masks for passengers:
Required for all travelers as of May 4, 2020. United will provide masks to those passengers who need them, though travelers are encouraged to bring their own.

Masks for staff / flight attendants:
Required for all team members while on duty

Enhanced aircraft cleaning standards:
•   Implemented electrostatic spraying into cleaning procedures on all inbound long-haul international flights, and mainline overnight aircraft at U.S. hubs. In June, all aircraft will have electrostatic spray on every departure, in addition to disinfecting customer touch points and surfaces before every flight.
•   State-of-the-art HEPA air filtration system

Other safety measures:
•   Limiting seat selection in all cabins
•   Boarding fewer customers at a time, and boarding row by row from back of aircraft to front (Pre-boarding will not change)
•   Reducing onboard contact by minimizing touchpoints – changing current food service and eliminating in-flight purchases temporarily
•   Closing many self-service kiosk in airports and encouraging travelers to self-scan boarding passes
•   Implementing social distancing signage in the airports and deploying sneeze guards at key interaction points including check-in counters and gate podiums
•   Supporting team members to maintain health: staff temperature checks and reduced close contact
•   Processing of Complimentary Premier Upgrades will continue at departure gate in priority order

Updated 5/19/20 This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

34 Comments

  1. I do not like it you still need to add some other safety measures in there that I did not see and bring the tickets down it’s not my fault bet you can’t book a full plane

  2. I appreciate what precautions the airlines are taking. Hopefully these will include strong air filtering systems in all cabins.

    1. Thanks Carole. Most airlines do seem to have state-of-the-art HEPA filtration systems. We noted the airlines that currently have it in the rundown.

    1. Hi Johnny, some international airlines have applied similar procedures. We will look into adding airlines to the list as international travel opens up. Thanks

      1. The 😷 and I think should take everyone that come on the airplane should have there Temperature taking. And if they Show signs of coughing red eyes should not be allowed.

        1. Hi Lue, Keep an eye out for more health and safety protocols coming our way in the next weeks and months. I think your suggestion will likely become the norm – some airlines, like Frontier (as of June 1, 2020), already have plans to implement temperature screening.

  3. It’s ok to have those measures during a crisis situation. I sure hope though that this will not remain as a perpetual thing. I cannot imagine flying for more than a couple hours wearing a mask to be comfortable. So for now I’ll just pass and not fly. And should a vaccine ever be required to fly; I will stop flying completely. Afterall, the CDC lost lawsuits as they could NOT show that they have done ANY product testing for safety and efficiency since 1989. Neither could they prove that their toxic sludge vaccines do not cause autism. So requiring a vaccine to travel as certain people want to impose would be medical tyranny and people need to go up in arms against such things – including the airlines. You can see the documents of the lawsuit at http://www.icandecide.org (as neither media nor google which is censored want people to know and see those things)

    1. We understand your choice. We are just communicating the airline safety policies for those needing to travel at this time.

  4. I agree that this is necessary for everyone to be safe and comfortable while traveling amongst strangers. Good job

    1. It does seem the airlines are trying to implement the best policies to keep people safe during this time. Thanks Linda.

  5. I do have ticket flight from Prague to Spokane but I stuck in Thailand till possibility to open flights. My flight is on June 1. But I can’t be there before July 17th.what I have to do

    1. Hi Vladamir, if you have a booking with us, contact our support team with your 10 digit booking at help@CheapAir.com to go over your rebooking options. Most airlines have implemented change policies during this time. If you booked elsewhere, please contact the booking source for assistance.

  6. Will your Airline be giving discount for flights to Europe in June 2021, ie’ Premium select to Germany?.

    1. Hi Charles, it is hard to tell at this time. Demand is down, which usually leads to lower fares, but airlines are also cutting the number of flights. Most likely next summer might be cheaper. We recommend you start monitoring flights in late summer, early fall for summer 2021 to get a better sense of fares.

  7. I have 2 children ages 1.5 and 2.5 how are they supposed to keep there masks on ? You know that is not going to happen .

    1. Yes, flying with children wearing masks could be difficult. Perhaps exceptions will be made for very young children. If you are thinking of flying, it will be best to check with your preferred airline on the policy for children. We will try to add policy exceptions to our list once the airlines make it available.

  8. Good precautions by the airlines. Looks like we will be paying top dollar and now receiving no services. This certainly benefits the airlines and not the passengers. Looks like we might have to bring our own food and drink. I can only imagine what a mess this new policy will be on international flights. Pay first/class fares and receive no service. Think most of us will forgo air travel until the airlines figure out how to better balance safety and service.
    Do you know what it’s like to wear masks for a 5 hour flight or how about 8-12 international flight. Suggest airlines may want to seek out new air filtration systems in the cabins. Try wearing masks for long hours on a flight. Suggest we avoid all unnecessary travel until conditions improve.

    1. Policies are still being worked out for those needing to travel. Airlines may decide to offer prepackaged food when international flights open up. Most airlines have already implemented state-of-the-art HEPA filtration systems. We noted those airlines in our list. Thank you

  9. My flight is canceled do to covid19 an I would like to know why I am still being charged a fee why it is not my fault an I requesting my money in full can some one please get back to me as soon as possible my number is 646 737 5665

  10. My thoughts
    Masks should be encouraged NOT Required as
    Some people may have issues with breathing
    While wearing a facemask, Let’s all be
    Sensible about thus and Sensitive to those that
    May NOT be able to wear a facemask!

  11. FLIGHT NUMBER 65462753 AIRLINE CHANGED IT TO SEPTEMBER BUT I NEVER GOT A ITENEARY PLEASE PLEASE SEND IT PLEASE THANK YOU LONG TIME CUSTOMER DONT FAIL ME NOW..BE SAFE 717 823 2823 GODS BLESSINGS

    1. Hi Sarita, that doesn’t appear to be our booking number. We think you booked with another company. For example, we don’t have an “O” in our name. Please contact the other company for assistance with that booking. To book with us in the furture, please make sure to type CheapAir.com in the browser so that you do not accidentally book with copycat websites. Thank you

Post a Comment