“Southwest aircraft routinely undergo more than six labor hours of cleaning every night” Really??? I doubt it. It’s a thankless job for the “Aircraft Appearance Technicians” and I truly wish Southwest (and all airlines) would increase the pay of those employees so the level of cleanliness would improve. I have many friends who are flight attendants. They share the horror stories of how disgusting the planes can get after just one flight. (And many times they find the planes in really bad shape before the first flight of the day.) Maybe this covid-19 will improve things, only temporarily I imagine. But it’s not entirely the airlines fault. We (the public) can be disgusting passengers. (Sneezing and coughing over everything. Vomit from motion sickness, or simply because of too much alcohol on the way to/from Vegas.) And then there are the occasional parents who decide to change their newborn’s diaper right on the tray tables. (Fecal matter for the next passenger, awesome!) But while the passengers are the ones who cause the dirty conditions, it is still the airlines responsibility to make the planes clean for the next set of customers. That is something Herb Kelleher (former CEO) ignored when he was innovating his revolutionary “10 minute” turn around target for the aircraft. Taking a look at the “Six labor hours of cleaning.” That means there are six people on the plane cleaning for 1 hour. Within that time, if they spend just ten seconds cleaning each item they promise, they don’t really get through all 143 seats. “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.” Essentially, they have time to spend 2 minutes cleaning each seat area. (Lavatories, galley areas, and cockpit would be separate.) However, how many times on the first flight of the day have we come across the sticky tray tables with spilled soda (we hope that’s what it is), or the shiny headrest that is glistening from the greasy hair of the person who got off the long delayed flight from the night before? I hope things improve. But I doubt every aircraft is really getting six hours of cleaning every night.
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