Daily Insights

Squeaky Clean Standards

By: Mackenzie Baker | May 22, 2020

Following in the steps of other travel brands, United Airlines has announced new cleaning protocols succeeding the Coronavirus pandemic. 

The airline company is teaming up with Clorox and the Cleveland Clinic to roll out its new “United CleanPlus” program. The brand is promoting the changes across social media, reaching passengers near and far. Tapping into its social channels allows United Airlines to quickly respond to any customers unsure about the new guidelines, according to a Gartner report on the topic. The changes are the first step to a “new normal” as the airline works to reassure passengers about the safety and cleanliness of its aircrafts. The Cleveland Clinic helped the airline create its new cleaning guidelines, and plans to stay onboard and offer expert advice as the new protocol takes effect. 

The extensive new protocol highlights how drastically the airline industry will have to adjust its practices during this unfamiliar age of travel. Reconditioned safety protocols include stocking gates and terminals with Clorox products, installing touchless kiosks and sneeze guards, and making mask-wearing mandatory for employees and travelers. Following public outrage over a viral photo of a packed United flight in May, the brand will now alert passengers when their flight is close to full and give them the option to rebook for free. Onboard, United Airlines is focusing on disinfecting high-touch areas, including armrests, seatbelts, bathrooms, and seat-back screens. Economy passengers will be given a “snack bag” upon boarding that includes water, snacks, and a sanitary wipe, as traditional beverage and snack services are suspended for the indefinite future. The airline is quickly instituting a large range of changes as it works to rebuild trust with customers anxious about flying again.

United Airlines’ meticulous list of safety updates could quickly become routine as more customers begin to travel again. Though things are slowly getting back to normal after the turbulent effects of the pandemic, the airline’s new guidelines show that normal is not at all what it used to be.