Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Southwest reduces cleaning to near per-covid levels

The US budget carrier Southwest has bucked the trend of airings caring about passengers safety and increasing cleaning of aircraft, by reducing it.

The airline has evolved its cleaning protocols, which were previously good, now in an effort to cut costs and time, it will no longer give each aircraft a full clean between flights, instead, it will just wipe down tray tables and toilets.

Cabin Crew will pick up rubbish, move the seatbelts and open the overhead luggage lockers.  A member of ground staff will follow the cabin crew and give the table a quick wipe down with a single cloth. The toilet will then be cleaned. 

The airline says that the toilets and tray tables are the most important to be cleaned as they are the most often contaminated.  Of course, no Southwest passenger ever touches the overhead luggage lockers, or the arms of the seat in which they sit, or the window/shade!

The budget carrier,  which schedules as many flights as possible in a single day with its 737 aircraft, found enhanced cleaning was taking longer than it wanted to allow during the ever so tight turnarounds.  It is, therefore, bringing back cleaning levels to almost pre-COVID, despite the fact that the U.S. is still deeply affecting by the virus at pandemic levels. Perhaps even more worryingly, the airline is also reducing deep cleaning of the aircraft to once every 30 days, along with electrostatic spraying. Southwest is making it clear that passenger safety is of paramount importance until it affects the bottom line and then it is out of the question, pandemic or no pandemic safety takes a backseat to making money.  

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