Airlines Add Cleaning Measures, Mask Requirements As Summer Flight Numbers Remain Flat


Wednesday, August 5th 2020, 10:10 pm
By: Barry Mangold


OKLAHOMA CITY -

Major airline operators have added several safety measures and additional cleaning practices to their daily routine in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the total number of domestic flights is down by more than 40% compared to last year. 

Travel concerns were raised earlier this year due to the pandemic, and airlines have changed several norms of flying commercial to make the experience safer.

Rick Aynes with United Airlines at the Will Rogers World Airport showed News 9 new touchless kiosks, recently added sanitizing devices, and the added directions to passengers to help maintain a distance between them. Watch the above video for more on the changes.

“You should feel very safe flying on United because of all the safety procedures we’ve put into place,” Aynes said.

Dr. Dale Bratzler, the Chief COVID-19 Officer for the University of Oklahoma, said the added measures are significant, but a risk is still present.

“I know that disinfectant wipes and other things are available for the contact surfaces,” he said. “But that’s not how most people get this infection. Most people get it by breathing the virus.”

United and other major airlines require passengers to wear a face covering while they travel.

“They actually have to have a mask on the airplane. They can’t get on and take it off,” Aynes said.

United, Southwest and American Airlines each have made changes to minimize the spread of COVID-19.