Skip to main content

Southwest Airlines Community

Highlighted

change of cleaning in cabins during COVID

New Arrival

I have flown Southwest for over 20 years and have had great experiences. Very disappointed to hear that they are minimizing the in cabin cleaning between flights. I'm not sure how much more of a turnaround delay it causes to clean off the armrests but it now makes me wonder what other precautions can be eliminated to save time or money. Air quality is extremely important and I don't know if there is some precautions with air quality that they may also ease up on.  I am not planning to touch the tray tables so that is not an issue for me. I am more concerned with surfaces that are known to be used.  I am supposed to fly with them next week cross country and am considering canceling my flight and just driving. 

10 REPLIES 10
Highlighted

Re: change of cleaning in cabins during COVID

Active Member

Simply take matters into your own hands!  That's what I do...

 

Pack a couple of disinfectant wipes in a ziplock bag and wipe down the seatbelt straps and buckle parts, arm rests, air vent, window handle, tray table...anything you might touch.  Leave the surfaces wet and let them air dry, so the wipe ingredients do their job.  On most flights, the flight attendants pick up passener's used wipes before take-off.  You'll have way more confidence if you do it yourself.  Don't touch your mask, face, or eyes during the flight.  Once you land, immediately wash your hands in the first restroom you encounter.

 

Regarding air quality, this is from SWA's COVID Travel Information:

"All of our aircraft are equipped with HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters, which filter out airborne particles as the air onboard is recirculated with outside air. These same HEPA filters are used in many hospitals to enhance air quality within this environment.

Our aircraft are also designed with an air circulation system that mixes in fresh air from outside the plane. The HEPA filter and the air circulation system work together to provide optimum air quality while onboard a Southwest plane which, in most cases, exceeds the quality of air that can be found outdoors, as well as a typical office building or similar public venue. On average, a complete exchange of cabin air and outside air is accomplished every three minutes."

https://www.southwest.com/Coronavirus/?clk=CORONAVIRUS_TA&cbid=4876032

 

Flying cross country is safer than driving.  Just think about all of the gas stations, drive-thru restaurants and hotels that you would need to us.  And even more paramount, safety transportation records indicate flying is much, much safer than driving.

 

And remember, SWA is one of the few airlines that blocks off that middle seat.  Keep your flight and enjoy it!  😀

Highlighted

Re: change of cleaning in cabins during COVID

Active Member

And even though now you have been more informed, you should still take this advice.  I've also taken caution and just thinking, what should I do if they didn't clean it at all.  I wear rubber gloves, keep my mask on, and yes, even over my nose, have disinfectant wipes and do everything, light switch, call button, window shade, armrests, fold-down tray, seatback in front of me, the seat I'm sitting in, .....you get the picture.   More is better, and to overdo it is my motto.  I just have seen a video today on a 10-year-old who caught COVID and after weeks of home still having difficulty breathing and has to have home care.  I'm not leaving it up to anyone to clean for me...although I'm sure SWA does. 

Highlighted

Re: change of cleaning in cabins during COVID

Top Contributor

Swflyer007

 

You are absolutely right. People need to take responsibility for themselves.

 

Wear masks. Wash hands. Don't touch face. If concerned, wipe down things yourself. Try to avoid being in groups of people -- ie if boarding or deboarding gets too crowded, create your own space by deciding when to get in line --  or better yet decide when you can avoid being in a line.  .

 

People just need to be responsible for themselves.

Highlighted

Re: change of cleaning in cabins during COVID

Top Contributor

Here's the story, for those who missed it.

 

Southwest reduces aircraft cleaning between flights, focusing on tray tables over seat belts

 

It does seem an odd choice, especially as the infection numbers continue to rise. That said, I suspect most transmission is person-to-person, and less from surfaces.

 

I do dread the day that a flight becomes the nexus for a super-spreader event. Mask wearing certainly helps prevent this, hopefully it will never come to be.

Highlighted

Re: change of cleaning in cabins during COVID

Top Contributor

@chgoflyer wrote:

Here's the story, for those who missed it.

 

  SW says it is putting an anti-microbial spray with a 30 day lifespan on everything. Maybe it gives the airline confidence that  everything doesn't need to be cleaned between every flight.

 

The airline has also said it is spending 6-7 hours/plane/night doing a through cleaning.

Re: change of cleaning in cabins during COVID

Top Contributor

Unfortunately, as this reads to the general public -- Southwest is reducing disinfecting on it's planes. At the worst possible time. It's definitely a misstep, as the reaction on social media has been (as one would expect) harsh. While this wasn't officially announced, Southwest had to know that it would be leaked. Any amount of PR regarding the enhanced cleaning rings hollow now, even a full reversal will only help to a limited degree. It's regrettable.

 

 

Highlighted

Re: change of cleaning in cabins during COVID

Active Member

This change in policy will have absolutely no bearing on my decision to fly SWA.

Highlighted

Re: change of cleaning in cabins during COVID

Top Contributor

@Tonstavan wrote:

I have flown Southwest for over 20 years and have had great experiences. Very disappointed to hear that they are minimizing the in cabin cleaning between flights. I'm not sure how much more of a turnaround delay it causes to clean off the armrests but it now makes me wonder what other precautions can be eliminated to save time or money. Air quality is extremely important and I don't know if there is some precautions with air quality that they may also ease up on.  I am not planning to touch the tray tables so that is not an issue for me. I am more concerned with surfaces that are known to be used.  I am supposed to fly with them next week cross country and am considering canceling my flight and just driving. 


 

Actually, SW, has increased cleaning, and has not minimized it. SW puts a long lasting (30 days worth of lasting) anti-microbial spray on all surfaces to minimize chances of spread.

Air is changed with fresh air about every 2-3 minutes, and is filtered thru a hospital quality

filtration system. There's not much more that any airline could do.

 

https://www.southwest.com/promise/?clk=4876032&cbid=4876032#cleaning-around-the-clock

 

I'm not aware of a single person who has caught the virus on a plane, but I am aware of the tens of thousands of people who die every year in car accidents - with many tens or hundreds of thousands more who are injured..

 

The choice is yours.

 

Good luck.

Highlighted

Re: change of cleaning in cabins during COVID

Active Member

Thanks for your take and reply to this.  I was going to ask this person, Please provide the information or data that shows they minimized their cleaning.  Even if SWA was selfish and not care much about their customer, (which they do) they would still not jeopardize the health of the flight attendants.  That is just a fact.