Airline COVID Policy Comparisons

Compare American, Delta, Southwest & United

Every airline has implemented new cleaning, social distancing, and flight capacity policies to combat the spread of COVID.

These are changing frequently and each airline is different. This can leave travelers confused and questioning which airline is best for their current travel needs.

We’ve complied the COVID policies and procedures that major Chicago airlines—American, Delta, Southwest, and United—have implemented.

Airline COVID19 Safety Comparison of Delta, American, United and Southwest - Sunset-Travel.com

Compare COVID-19 Safety Standards of Major Airlines

American Airlines COVID-19 Policies
(as of August 2020)

Clean Commitment

  • American Airlines Clean Commitment includes enhanced cleaning measures of each plane between flights and full cleaning overnight. Fully trained cleaners use hospital grade disinfectant.
  • Cleaners also regularly use a hospital-grade fogger for added electrostatic cleaning.
  • All aircraft use HEPA filters to refresh and clean the air throughout the flight.

At the Airport

  • Flyers can find Purell® hand sanitizer at ticket counters, in lounges, and at the gates in the airport.
  • Contactless check-in is being offered where passengers can get tickets and bag tags directly from a kiosk.
  • Kiosks are sanitized after each use.
  • Plexiglass has been installed at every ticketing and gate counter.

Mask Requirement

  • Masks are required on all flights and this policy is strictly enforced
  • Masks are now also required to be worn at all time in the airport
  • If you do not have a mask, one will be provided

Flight Capacity Control

  • Currently, American is not blocking middles seats, nor controlling capacity on their flights. If a flight is filling up, American will contact passengers and offer a one-time change fee waiver.

In-Flight

  • Food and beverage service is limited and suspended on most short-haul flights. On some longer flights, snack bags will be provided.
  • Hand sanitizer and wipes are made available on all international flights and most domestic flights over 900 miles.

Delta Airlines COVID-19 Policies
(as of August 2020)

Delta Care Standard

  • Delta’s initiative for safer travel, Delta Care Standard, includes enhanced cleaning measures and cleaning frequency.
  • After each flight the aircraft is sanitized from top to bottom using an electrostatic fogging system.
  • Highly trained cleaners wipe down high-touch surfaces such as arm rests, seat buckles, touch screens, and window shades.
  • Delta Airlines partners with Lysol® for the highest quality cleaning supplies.
  • All aircraft use HEPA filters to refresh and clean the air throughout the flight.

At the Airport

  • All ticket counters, airport lounge, and gates have hand sanitizer available for passengers to use.
  • Kiosks are frequently sanitized by airport staff
  • Plexiglass has been installed at every ticketing and gate counter.

Mask Requirements

  • Masks are required on every flight and within the airport.
  • Delta is strictly adhering to these guidelines. Passengers refusing to wear as mask will be removed from the aircraft and added to a no-fly list.
  • If you do not have a mask, one will be provided

Flight Capacity Control

  • Middle seats are currently still be blocked by Delta to ensure flight capacity stay below 60% for each flight.
  • If capacity is exceeding preset cabin caps, Delta will upgrade passengers or change to larger aircrafts.

In-Flight

  • Snack service is still available on all flights
  • Most domestic flights are limited to individual bottled water. No ice or plastic cups are available in Main cabin classes.
  • Wipes and sanitizer are available upon request

Southwest Airlines COVID-19 Policies
(as of August 2020)

Southwest Promise

  • Each aircraft is cleaned between flights using hospital-grade cleaning supplies and disinfectant and specially trained staff.
  • Every night, each aircraft is thoroughly cleaned with staff spending at least six hours ensure every surface has been sanitized.
  • All aircraft use HEPA filters to refresh and clean the air throughout the flight.
  • Cleaners also regularly use a hospital-grade fogger for added electrostatic cleaning.

At the Airport

  • Sanitizer is made available to passengers at ticketing counters and gates.
  • Plexiglass has been installed at every ticketing and gate counter.
  • Passengers are welcome to board in groups of ten.

Mask Requirements

  • Masks are required on every flight and within the airport with Southwest strictly enforcing this mandate.
  • If you do not have a mask, one will be provided.

Flight Capacity Control

  • Southwest does not have assigned seats, but flight capacity is being limited to allow for all passengers to avoid the middles seats. Guests traveling together are welcome to sit together.

In-Flight

  • Bottled water and snack mixes will be available on flights over 250 miles.
  • Wipes and sanitizer are available upon request.

United Airlines COVID-19 Policies
(as of August 2020)

United Clean Plus

  • United has partnered with Clorox® and the Cleveland Clinic in order to provide top of the line cleaning supplies and health information.
  • Every aircraft is thoroughly cleaned between flights using Clorox disinfecting products on high-touch areas.
  • All aircraft use HEPA filters to refresh and clean the air throughout the flight.
  • Cleaners also regularly use a hospital-grade fogger for added electrostatic cleaning.

At the Airport

  • Sanitizer is made available to passengers at ticketing counters, lounges and gates.
  • Plexiglass has been installed at every ticketing and gate counter.
  • Kiosks are available at the airport for contactless check-in including bag tag and ticket printing.
  • Kiosks are sanitized after each use.

Mask Requirements

  • Masks are required on every flight and within the airport with United strictly enforcing this mandate.
  • If you do not have a mask, one will be provided.

Flight Capacity Control

  • United is not currently regulating capacity. Middle seats are also not being blocked. If the flight is filling up, United will contact passengers prior to flying to allow them to change flights, free of charge.

In-Flight

  • On flights over 2.5 hours, amenity bags will be distributed containing sanitizing wipes, a water bottle, and snacks.
  • On flights under 2.5 hours, beverages will be made available upon request. Sealed beverages only.
  • On shorter flights, food and beverage service has been suspended

Book your next vacation with Sunset Travel & Cruise and we’ll be happy to help you navigate all of the new safety requirements and choose the airline that’s right for you!

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Crafted Travel Experiences

Expert Travel Agents | Chicago IL, USA

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