The Southwest Team works throughout the day to execute an overall cleaning program built upon standing guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) which is designed with your Safety and comfort in mind.
Southwest aircraft routinely undergo more than six labor hours of cleaning every night. Now, as of March 4, Southwest’s Aircraft Appearance Technicians enhanced our cleaning procedures by expanding the use of an EPA-approved, hospital-grade disinfectant to address human touchpoints across the passenger cabin, flight deck, and lavatories. We invite you to watch this video that highlights examples of our enhanced-cleaning work.
Here are some additional insights into the work we’re doing:
In the Cabin
A multi-step cleaning process, using a hospital-grade disinfectant, is designed to address high-touch areas such as interior windows and shades, every seatbelt buckle, passenger service units (including the touch buttons that control reading lights and vents that direct personal air), as well as seat surfaces, tray tables, armrests, etc. Our aircraft are maintained throughout the day by Flight Attendants and Ground Operations Agents who board the aircraft between flights to tidy up the cabin for the next boarding of Customers and Employees.
In the Lavatory
Each restroom is receiving more attention via an EPA-registered, hospital-grade disinfectant used on surfaces including mirrors and ceiling panels.
On the Flight Deck
Additional cleaning procedures at night, using a disinfectant, devote extra attention to microphones and control yoke handles used by Pilots.
Clearing the Air
The sophisticated air circulation system that blends fresh air into the cabin on a regular basis throughout each flight also is equipped with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter, similar to that used in hospitals, to eliminate airborne particulates. Researchers at Harvard have concluded that this air distribution system is so efficient that it "effectively counters the proximity passengers are subject to during flights." Learn more about this research: Letting Research Guide Our Southwest Promise
Securing your Space
Southwest is working diligently to keep our aircraft clean and in a sanitary condition. Still, we know many Customers would prefer to perform their own extra layer of disinfecting with hand sanitizers and sanitizing wipes. That's why we now provide wipes to Customers onboard, upon request.If you bring your own hand or surface sanitizing items onboard, please use items that do not contain bleach, or have “plus bleach” on the label, as they risk damaging hard and soft surfaces. Additionally, we request that Customers not use aerosol or pump-spray cleaners, as these products cannot be contained to your personal space and may impact other Customers in the shared environment of our aircraft cabins.
We know there’s heightened interest in the topic of aircraft cleaning, and we are committed to maintaining our standards and following any new guidance. Additionally, we’re proud to share with you the enhanced work that hundreds of professional Aircraft Appearance Technicians around our system proudly complete each night, on more than 700 airplanes, to increase your comfort while flying with Southwest.