“Safety has always been our top priority, and right now in the midst of an unprecedented crisis, it’s our singular customer focus,” said United CEO Scott Kirby in a video message to customers today. “We recognize that COVID-19 has brought cleanliness and hygiene standards to the front of customers’ minds when making travel decisions, and we’re not leaving a single stone unturned in our pursuit to better protect our customers and employees.”
Clorox is enhancing the carrier’s cleaning program and redefining procedures. It is also giving amenities to customers at select locations that help support a healthier and safer environment throughout their travel journey. The roll-out of the company’s products will begin at the gate and terminal areas in United’s hub airports in Chicago and Denver. Additional locations will follow.
United also tapped the medical experts at Cleveland Clinic for guidance on the airline’s policies and procedures—from mandatory face coverings, to touchless kiosks in select locations for baggage check-in, to social distancing—to ensure they meet or exceed industry standards.
Cleveland Clinic experts will also advise on new technologies, training development and quality assurance programming. And, as scientists learn more about COVID-19, it will keep the carrier up-to-date on new ways to keep its customers safe.
“As the public begins to adjust to a world that’s been altered by the COVID-19 pandemic, health and safety is of the utmost importance,” said Tomislav Mihaljevic, M.D., CEO and president of the Cleveland Clinic. “We are proud to be part of this program and to share the knowledge we’ve gained as we’ve worked to contain and understand COVID-19 over the past several months. It’s important for everyone to take precautions as we enter this new phase of COVID-19 response, and Cleveland Clinic is pleased to play a role in helping people travel safely.”
To date, United has implemented more than a dozen new policies and procedures aligned with United CleanPlus, including:
In airport lobbies:
- Reducing touchpoints by temporarily shutting down self-service kiosks and in select locations, rolling out touchless kiosks that allow customers to print bag tags using their own device to scan a QR code.
- Actively promoting social distancing with enhanced signage, including a six-foot rule at the ticket counters which allows for minimal contact between agents and customers.
- Deploying sneeze guards at key interaction points, including check-in counters.
At the gate
- Boarding fewer customers at a time to allow for more distance during the boarding process, minimizing crowding at the gate and jet bridge.
- Asking customers to self-scan their boarding passes at gate readers.
- Providing employees with disinfecting products so they can disinfect high-touch areas including armrests and handrails.
In United Clubs
- Protective sneeze guards installed at credentialing desks and customer services minimizing contact between our guests and team members.
- Enhanced team member safety and well-being by requiring the use of personal protective equipment.
- Increased the frequency of cleaning of high-touch surfaces and equipping team members with disinfectant cleaning products.
- Removed seating at bar area to actively promote physical distancing.
- Pre-packaged food and beverages are only available at the bar area to reduce customer touch points.
- Beginning May 22, United is replacing the economy beverage and complimentary snack service on flights over two hours and 20 minutes with an “all in one” economy snack bag, which will include a wrapped sanitizer wipe, an 8.5-ounce bottled water, a Stroopwafel and a package of pretzels.
- Enhanced cabin sanitization including electrostatic spraying, before every flight (beginning in June)
- Requiring all employees and passengers on board to wear a mask or face covering
- Supplying individually wrapped hand sanitizers wipes to customers as they board.
- Limiting advance seat selections where possible and allowing customers to take alternative flights when a flight is expected to operate over 70 percent capacity.
- Implementing start-of-workday employee temperature checks
- Employees are producing hand sanitizer that is being used throughout the airline.