How Alaska Airlines Is Keeping Passengers Safe From Coronavirus

Airlines around the world are taking precautions to limit the spread of the coronavirus during air travel. Alaska Airlines, after waiving change fees, is now tweaking its inflight services in order to limit the spread of the virus. Here’s what Alaska Airlines is doing. The airline announced these modifications in a blog post on March 2nd.

Alaska Airlines
Alaska Airlines is making some changes to its inflight service. Photo: Getty Images

Alaska Airlines modifying inflight services

One of the big things Alaska Airlines is doing is enhancing aircraft cleaning procedures. While Alaska does not fly any international long-haul routes to Asia or Italy, the airline does understand that travelers may have originated in these areas before boarding its aircraft.

Alaska Airlines
On the ground, Alaska Airlines will clean its aircraft more thoroughly. Photo: Alaska Airlines

One of the biggest changes, however, is in regard to inflight services. Alaska Airlines is no longer refilling used cups – even in first class. Instead, the airline is encouraging you to fill up your own water bottles before flying to reduce waste.

Flight attendant service
While snack service is not affected, flight attendants will not refill used cups. Photo: Alaska Airlines

In addition, flight attendants may wear gloves during services. Up front, Alaska Airlines will suspend hot towel service in first class for two weeks. At the same time, Alaska Airlines will also suspend onboard recycling for two weeks.

Alaska recycling
Alaska Airlines is temporarily suspending its inflight recycling services. Photo: Alaska Airlines

However, recycling will continue for Horizon Air flights which offer simplified services like water and orange juice. These are primarily short-haul hops that are not long enough for a full, drawn-out snack service.

Horizon Air
Short hop flights on Horizon Air will still offer recycling onboard. Photo: Jay Singh – Simple Flying

What Alaska Airlines is saying about wiping down seats

Alaska Airlines is all for passengers traveling with hand sanitizer or antibacterial wipes (or both!). However, the airline wants passengers to know that they should only use wipes on armrests and tray tables, not on the leather seats.

Alaska Airlines wants passengers to use wipes on tray tables and armrests- not on the seats! Photo: Alaska Airlines

The reason is that the disinfectant wipes can deteriorate the top coat of the leather. Furthermore, Alaska indicates that the wipe may look dirty, but that should be attributed to the leather dye from the seat.

On the ground

Alaska Airlines is taking prevention even further. At crew break rooms, company offices, lounges, ticket counters, and gates, Alaska Airlines is offering hand sanitizer. Moreover, lounge access via biometric fingerprint scanners has been suspended.

Alaska Lounge
Alaska Airlines is suspending biometric fingerprint access to the lounge. Photo: Alaska Airlines

The lounge is still open for operation, however. Customers will just need to check in at the desk.


Though not the most extreme changes, Alaska Airlines is taking measures to reduce the spread of the virus on domestic flights. Airline employees are still monitoring the situation and will continue to evaluate changes to the procedure.

What do you think about Alaska Airlines’ changes amid the coronavirus outbreak? Let us know in the comments!