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Extra Cleaning Steps We Are Taking to Ensure Your Safety


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

200305SWA_deepclean_Keller_WEB05.JPGA 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.

New Arrival

I agree that Southwest should hand out a sealed disinfecting cloth to anyone who wants to clean their area along with instructions as passengers board the plane. I never would have thought of wiping the seat belt buckle.  Cleaning the plane for 6 hours per night means the plane is only clean for the first flight of the day. The minute someone coughs or sneezes, the seat is dirty for the rest of the day.


I would be more than happy to bring my own disinfecting wipes on the plane if I could find them for sale 😞 plus SW runs the risk of my wipe having bleach in it which SW doesn't want me to use or some other scent that might conflict with everyone else's scented wipes.

New Arrival

So unless I am misreading this article you do NOT disinfect the plane BETWEEN flights? It’s only done ONCE a day? How is that in any way effective in minimizing the spread of the virus or keeping passengers safe? I find this utterly preposterous. I’m guessing I’m not the only one.

New Arrival

CDC states clean then disinfect!! Once you find your disinfectant, read the label for kill claims via the EPA, then read and see what the dwell time(must stay wet) is..Once you have this information you can start disinfecting effectively. 

New Arrival

I just got off a flight where they closed off the first 3 and the last 3 rows of the aircraft requiring everyone to seat themselves in closer quarters. This is contrary to social distancing. It would be better to close off alternate rows so that passengers can be more spread out. Please rethink this practice. 

New Arrival

What about requiring crew and passengers to wear masks? It only takes one asymptomatic Covid-19 passenger on a clean airplane to cause issues for others. When I feel comfortable, I will be flying to Houston to help my daughter choose a wedding dress.  Please know that I will be choosing who I fly based on their mask policy and will opt for the airline that is requiring them.