Today, Seattle-based Alaska Airlines announced that it is expanding its Next-Level Care program to include almost 100 different safety and health measures. The airline is implementing the steps to ensure the safety of passengers and crew in the airport and on aircraft.
Safety is the number one priority for Alaska Airlines
Alaska Airlines issued a statement on 9th June saying that passengers will notice changes that are designed with their comfort and safety in mind. The airline is putting in place nearly 100 health measures as the culmination of its Next-Level Care.
The new measures cover customers at the airport, from the check-in desk to the departure gate. Physical distancing onboard the aircraft gives passengers more room, and new sanitizing regimes help to prevent the spread of infection. Alaska Airlines CEO, Brad Tilden said,
“Caring for our guests and employees and ensuring their safety has always been our number one priority. COVID-19 has touched all of us in some way and it prompted us to fundamentally change the entire travel experience. Next-Level Care has been informed by medical experts, employees and guests, to ensure our customers are safe, whenever they’re ready to fly.”
Airport health measures
At the airport, employees will clean all surfaces at counters, kiosks, and all high traffic areas several times a day. Stickers with the message, “Mind Your Wingspan” are being placed six feet apart at check-in desks, baggage drops and gate areas to encourage social distancing. Hand sanitizer is located throughout the airport.
The airline is encouraging passengers to use its mobile app to provide a contactless experience. From 30th June, all guests will need to fill out a health agreement at check-in. It confirms that they have had no COVID-19 symptoms in the previous 72 hours, or had contact with a symptomatic person.
Aboard the aircraft
Alaska Airlines’ aircraft are equipped with HEPA air filters featuring the latest filtration technology. The two filters remove 99.95% of contaminants, and the air in the cabin is fully refreshed every three minutes.
Employees use high-grade disinfectant is used to sanitize critical areas of the plane, and the use of electrostatic sprayers ensures that disinfectant clings to every surface.
All passengers aged 12 and up are expected to bring their own masks, although supplies are available for those who forget. Masks must be worn at the airport and during the flight. From July, the airline will provide sanitizing wipes onboard. Alaska has limited inflight service so customers can take their own snacks and water bottles on the flight.
The airline is working with infectious disease experts to implement the best practices to keep passengers and flight crew safe.
Alaska Airlines’ coronavirus struggle
Last week, Alaska Airlines stated that the company could owe up to $600 million in travel credits. It was also losing $200 million per month. The airline released its first-quarter earnings report last month that showed an 80% drop in capacity.
It might have to cut 3,000 jobs due to reduced passenger demand and the slow recovery process.