Airline Statements: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Airline Statements In Regards To The Coronavirus (COVID-19)

 

Updated March 9, 2020 10:11p

 

I’ve written extensively showing the airlines, hotels and cruises travel waivers and also the government travel restrictions. I’ve also talked about how this is affecting non-revenue travel. Now I want to share with you the emails received from the airlines in regards to what they are doing re the Coronavirus. These are important as you get an insight into what they are doing to manage the issue. The airlines have dealt with this kind of thing in the past, but each one is slightly different so its good to see how they are using what they’ve learnt with this issue.

 

I’ve been getting emails for about two weeks now. The last few days more frequent than the previous week.

 

Allegiant Airlines

 

March 8, 2020 11:48a

 

Dear Valued Allegiant Customer,

 

I wanted to reach out to you personally regarding the current situation with coronavirus. The influx of new, daily developments in the news has brought many concerns and an environment of uncertainty. But I want you to understand that here at Allegiant, the health and safety of you and our team members remains the top priority in everything we do. During this period of uncertainty, be assured you can fly with confidence.

 

We are in continuous contact with the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Department of Homeland Security/TSA, Department of Transportation/FAA and other agencies and experts, closely monitoring the situation and current guidance regarding travel. Allegiant is a domestic airline with all nonstop flights and we do not have any international connecting flights. Domestic airlines, unlike international carriers, have not had any restrictions placed on them. We remain committed to serving you, our valued customer. To this point we have not made any changes to our schedule. As always, we will let you know immediately should there be any changes to a flight you are booked on.

 

We understand your decision to travel at this time is personal and many factors are involved. If you would like to request a change to your travel plans at this time, you may do so without incurring a change fee.

 

We will keep you informed of any developments regarding coronavirus which could impact upcoming flights. But please know that across our system, Allegiant team members are, as always, committed to ensuring your travels are as safe and seamless as possible.

 

Thank you once again for flying with us. We look forward to seeing you on board soon.

 

Sincerely,
Maury Gallagher
Chairman and CEO
Allegiant

 

 

American Airlines

March 5, 2020 8:25p

 

Your safety and well-being is always our top priority at American Airlines, but particularly in relation to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Providing you with up-to-date information on what we are doing to respond to the issue is a critical step in giving you peace of mind when you travel. Here are a few highlights of our efforts:

 

Travel flexibility

We are extending our offer to waive change fees for customers who purchase tickets March 5 through March 31, 2020, for travel through January 30, 2021. This is available for any of American’s nonrefundable published fares. See details for waived change fees.

 

Enhanced cleaning

We have a strong, structured cleaning regimen and our aircraft are cleaned each day at key touchpoints on their journeys with an EPA-approved disinfectant.

 

We are also enhancing our cleaning procedures on international flights and aircraft that remain overnight at an airport. This move, which will touch the majority of our aircraft each day, includes a more thorough cleaning of all hard surfaces, including tray tables and armrests.

 

Also, most of our aircraft are equipped with High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters that provide a complete air change approximately 15 to 30 times per hour, or once every two to four minutes. A HEPA filter’s complete air change is better than most other forms of transportation and office buildings’ and similar to the standard for hospitals. See more details.

 

Ongoing efforts

Our entire leadership at the airline is focused on the coronavirus issue and your well-being. We are working closely with the federal government, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and many other health agencies to ensure we are doing everything we can to keep you safe and well-informed. We are confident that our incredible team of more than 130,000 will care for you in the best possible way during your journey with us.

 

Thank you again for flying American.

 

Kurt Stache
SVP, Customer Experience
American Airlines

 

 

Blade

 

March 6, 2020 4:14p

 

Securing Your Safety: COVID-19 Preventative Measures Implemented

 

In coordination with Dr. Andrew Bazos, an advisor to BLADE and BLADE’s MediMobility division, we have implemented preventative measures and policies in conjunction with our operators to minimize the transmission risk of COVID-19 to our fliers, pilots and employees.

 

BLADE’s helicopter and jet check-in process is one of the most important ways we ensure the safety and security of our passengers. This process will now include non-contact temperature screening at all BLADE Lounges and airports we serve, for the foreseeable future.

 

Additional Preventative Measures Implemented Across All BLADE Helicopter and Jet Services

  1. All helicopter and jet passenger cabins will be sanitized before each flight.
  2. Helicopter headphones (utilized on certain aircraft) will be sanitized before each flight and microphones will be removed as an additional precaution.
  3. All vehicle interiors of BLADE arranged ground transportation will be sanitized before each pick-up, including ground transfers between helicopters and airport terminals as well as jet and helicopter arrival transportation (e.g., BLADE Ground Connect service in Miami, Westchester, Los Angeles or New York City). Please note that BLADE utilizes its own dedicated fleet of SUV’s at all New York area airports.
  4. For any questions, please contact Flier Relations via email ([email protected]) or call 1-844-359-2523. For more COVID-19 travel-related information, please refer to these CDC guidelines.

 

 

Delta Air Lines

 

Monday, March 9, 2020 at 7:33a

 

As a valued member of the Delta family, I appreciate the trust you place in us and our people worldwide when you travel.

 

In the current environment, it’s important for all of us to travel smarter and more consciously. That’s why I want to personally update you on the situation with COVID-19 (the coronavirus) and the steps we are taking to ensure your health and safety in your travels.

 

For more than a decade, Delta has been preparing for such a scenario. As a global airline, we have strong relationships in place with health experts including the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and local health authorities worldwide. We are in constant contact with them to make sure our policies and procedures meet or exceed their guidelines.

 

Operations are our lifeblood. We’ve learned from past experience with outbreaks like H1N1 and Ebola, and have continually refined and improved our ability to protect our customers. That includes the way we circulate clean and fresh air in our aircraft with highly advanced HEPA filters, the new fogging procedures in our cleaning process, how we sanitize aircraft between flights and how we respond if a customer is displaying symptoms.

 

A full report on the measures Delta is taking to help you have a healthy flying experience is available here. It outlines our expanded cleaning and disinfecting at our airports and on board our aircraft; distribution of hand sanitizer and amenity kits to help customers stay clean; and the technology on our aircraft to filter and replace cabin air.

 

A command center in Atlanta has been stood up to guide our response, leading our global team of thousands of Delta professionals dedicated to this effort. That includes our reservations specialists handling thousands of incoming calls, our flight crews and Airport Customer Service (ACS) agents taking extra care of our customers, and our TechOps and operations coordination teams keeping the airline moving. This world-class group of airline employees has your back, and I have never been prouder of the women and men of Delta.

 

To ensure you always have access to the latest information and guidance, we have a website on the COVID-19 situation that is continually being updated with cleaning policies and actions we’re implementing to keep you safe, ways you can stay healthy while flying, and changes to our flight schedules and waiver information. Transparency is one of our core values, and we are committed to keeping you fully informed as the situation evolves.

 

While we’re committed to providing you with information you need to make informed decisions around your travel, we also understand the need for flexibility based on your individual circumstances. To make sure you can travel with confidence, we’re offering flexible waivers, and we’ve also adjusted our network in response to guidance from the State Department.

 

We understand that in today’s world, travel is fundamental to our business and our lives, which is why it can’t – and shouldn’t – simply stop. I believe Delta’s mission of connecting the world and creating opportunities is never more important than at times like this.

 

Thank you for your continued trust in Delta, and I look forward to seeing you in my own travels throughout the year.

 

Sincerely,

Ed Bastian
CEO

 

 

JetBlue

 

March 5, 2020 5:08p

 

As the coronavirus situation evolves, the safety of our crewmembers and customers is paramount. We’re working hard to do everything we can to be prepared and address your concerns.

 

We are:

  • Increasing the rigor of cleaning and sanitizing procedures on our aircraft.
  • Disinfecting common surfaces inside our airport terminals more frequently.
  • Making hand sanitizer available in our airports and disinfecting wipes available on board, upon request.
  • Temporarily suspending onboard hot towel service.

 

We have partnered with federal agencies and hired our own medical expert to ensure we implement best practices from U.S. and other global health authorities. This includes promoting handwashing and healthy hygiene practices among our community of crewmembers and customers.

 

We also want to ensure you can book new travel with confidence. As such, we’re extending our temporary policy of no change or cancellation fees. This applies to bookings made 3/6-3/31 for travel through 9/8/20 across all fares (Blue, Blue Basic, Blue Plus, Blue Extra and Mint) and all JetBlue destinations. If you need to cancel your travel plans, we’ll credit the full amount as a JetBlue travel credit that’s valid for one year. Fare differences may apply for changes. Please visit our blog for more info.

 

Have questions about coronavirus? Visit the Centers for Disease Control website.

 

Thanks, as always, for your continued loyalty. We look forward to seeing you on board again soon.

 

Best regards,
Don Uselmann
Vice President, Loyalty

 

 

Qatar Airways

 

Monday March 9, 2020

 

The safety, security and good health of our members is of the utmost importance to us.

 

In light of the continually evolving COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation, I wanted to personally update you, to ensure you’re informed so you can travel with confidence the next time you fly with us.

 

Flexibility

Qatar Airways has updated its travel policy so you can travel with confidence, offering you more flexibility and peace of mind. If you have booked or will book flights for travel up to 30 June 2020 you will be offered the flexibility to change your travel plans free of charge by altering the dates of your booking or exchanging your ticket for a travel voucher valid for one year. This includes award flights since we value every Qmile you’ve earned with us as a Burgundy member. So, if your plans change, rest assured that we are ready to support you.

 

Hygiene

Qatar Airways continues to maintain the highest hygiene levels onboard, because safe, clean travel remains our constant goal. Learn more about the measures being taken onboard here, including information about our air filtration systems that remove 99.97% of viral bacterial contaminants, as well as the IATA and WHO-approved products used for regular cleaning onboard.

 

Entry restrictions

Under the direction of government authorities of the State of Qatar, entry restrictions apply if you are travelling from a number of countries with an end destination of Qatar, but they do not impact transiting passengers. Please check the latest entry restrictions here.

 

Stay up to date

As we work closely with global and national authorities to understand the latest advice and guidance on COVID-19 and operate our services accordingly, we will continue to publish the latest updates.

 

During this time we expect longer waiting times to get the information that you need through our contact centres. For faster updates we continue to publish regular travel alerts and updates to help you manage your plans. We also encourage you to check your real-time flight status or follow us on Twitter for the latest information.

 

To help us keep you informed further, please check that your contact details are up to date in your membership profile or “Manage Booking”, and download the mobile app by visiting the Android or iOS app store, where we will communicate with you directly.

 

From myself and the team, thank you for your continued loyalty. We wish you good health and are looking forward to welcoming you onboard again soon.

 

Jacob Miller
VP Customer Engagement & Loyalty

 

 

Singapore Airlines

 

February 24, 2020 7:08a

 

The health and safety of our customers and crew is a priority for Singapore Airlines and SilkAir. In view of the Covid-19 outbreak, we would like to share with you the enhanced cleaning and precautionary measures that we have instituted on board our aircraft.

 

All SIA and SilkAir aircraft already undergo a thorough cleaning process when on the ground. In addition, all flights arriving from Mainland China undergo disinfectant fogging. Common surfaces such as tray tables, handsets, and inflight entertainment screens are cleaned with disinfectant wipes. We also remove all headsets, headrest covers, pillow covers, bedsheets, and blankets after every flight sector.

 

The air filtration systems in our aircraft are equipped with High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters, which have a similar performance to those used in hospital operation rooms. Constant airflow also ensures that the cabin air is refreshed every two to three minutes.

 

During this period, you may also notice that there have been changes to our in-flight services. These include the replacement of the hot towel service with pre-set wet towelettes, cessation of the after take-off drink service, removal of reading materials from seat-back pockets, and suspension of in-flight sales.

 

Pre-flight temperature screening for all cabin crew and pilots operating out of Singapore has been in place since 29 January 2020. Our crew also know that they should see a doctor immediately if they feel unwell and should not report for work.

 

Thank you for your support. We wish you good health and look forward to welcoming you on board soon.

 

Yours Sincerely,
Renee Chong
Manager Loyalty Marketing

 

 

Southwest Airlines

 

Monday, May 9, 2020

 

To our valued Customers,

 

There is no higher priority to our entire Southwest Family than the Safety of our Customers and Employees. We are in close communication with medical professionals, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), government agencies, and internal teams to stay on top of this evolving situation. According to the most recent information from the CDC, for most people, the immediate risk of being exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to be low.

 

We want you to feel confident when traveling with Southwest Airlines. As a result, we have enhanced some of our cleaning procedures in the interest of our Customers’ and Employees’ health and safety.

 

Aircraft Cleaning: We spend between 6-7 hours cleaning each aircraft every night, and, as of March 4, 2020, we have enhanced our overnight cleaning procedures. Typically, we use an EPA approved, hospital-grade disinfectant in the lavatories and an interior cleaner in the cabin. Now, we are expanding the use of the hospital-grade disinfectant throughout the aircraft, and it will be used in the cabin, on elements in the flight deck, and in the lavatory. This goes beyond the standard CDC guidelines.

 

Also, we equip each of our aircraft with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter, which filters out recirculated air onboard each plane to remove airborne particles. HEPA filters are also used in hospitals to provide patients with clean air.

 

To learn more about our enhanced aircraft cleaning procedures, visit our blog for a detailed overview, along with a video and photos of the process.

 

In addition, I want to take a moment to remind Customers of our flexible policies. These policies have always been in place at Southwest Airlines and provide our Customers peace of mind every day. We never charge Customers a fee to change or cancel (though fare differences might apply) their flights. If your plans change or if you decide to postpone your travel, the funds used to pay for your flight can be applied to future travel as long as you cancel your reservation at least 10 minutes prior to the scheduled departure. The funds are valid for future travel up to one year from the original purchase date and must be used by the individual named on the ticket. Hopefully, these policies provide comfort to all of our Customers that they can book travel on Southwest as normal, and, if the circumstances change in the future, they can alter their plans without the penalty of a fee.

 

Rest assured, we are monitoring this developing situation closely, staying in regular contact with federal agencies, health organizations, and other experts. We’ve developed a host of resources to keep you informed and updated along the way, including our Travel Advisory on southwest.com and our Company blog, and we’ll continue to post updates as this situation evolves.

 

Thank you for your patience and trust in Southwest Airlines. We are prepared to navigate through these challenging circumstances with your safety and confidence in Southwest Airlines at the forefront of everything we do.

 

We look forward to seeing you onboard soon,

Ryan Green
SVP & Chief Marketing Officer

 

Spirit Airlines

 

Monday, March 9, 9:07p

 

Our first Spirit Value is safety, and I want you to know what we’re doing to live up to that value and keep Guests like you and our Spirit Family safe and healthy. I spent the last week traveling through our network and talking with Guests and Team Members firsthand about their concerns regarding the COVID-19 coronavirus, and I’d like to tell you what we’re doing to respond.

 

Since January, we’ve been closely monitoring the virus and enhancing our procedures. We’re working closely with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and industry leader MedAire along with other authorities to remain in compliance with all requirements, both domestically and internationally.

 

To protect you, we’ve been working around the clock to keep our facilities clean and teams prepared, starting with distributing additional cleaning supplies to our stations and increasing our onboard supply kit quantities for our inflight teams. On our planes, our usual cleaning procedures have always utilized hospital-grade disinfectants approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as effective against the COVID-19 coronavirus. To give our Guests even more peace of mind, we’ve expanded the cleaning protocols that our teams utilize on aircraft, focusing on high frequency touch points such as handles, seatbelt buckles, tray tables and armrests.

 

Our onboard air is also cleaned throughout each flight, with every aircraft in our all-Airbus fleet equipped with state-of-the-art HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters that capture 99.97% of particles. For the most up-to-date information about our efforts, you can always visit our dedicated page on Spirit.com.

 

In late January, we began offering flexible travel options to our Guests who reach out with concerns about the COVID-19 coronavirus. To book with confidence, our Guests have asked for flexibility in their plans and we responded to that feedback by waiving all fees for impacted Guests who need to adjust their plans. You can read more about our policy here.

 

While the effects of this virus are serious, we’ve seen and learned from others like it before. In the past decade we’ve weathered the Swine Flu, the Bird Flu, Ebola and more, so while this virus is significant, we’ll get through it together, just like we have the rest. We remain dedicated to serving you every day with the same commitment to our values you’ve come to know.

 

I look forward to seeing you on a Spirit flight soon.

 

Ted Christie
President and Chief Executive Officer, Spirit Airlines

 

United Airlines

 

Saturday, March 7, 2020 5:31a

 

I consider you part of our United family and your safety remains our highest priority.

 

We are in the business of serving people and in the midst of this coronavirus outbreak it’s important that we give you as much flexibility as possible when planning your next trip. But it’s also important that we give you as much information as possible about the procedures we follow to clean our aircraft and maintain a sanitary environment once we’re in the air.

 

Our teams are in daily contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), federal agencies and other global health organizations to share the most up-to-the-minute information to ensure the actions we’re taking are comprehensive and appropriate.

 

So today, I wanted to personally reach out and share a few of the steps we are taking for you, our customer:

 

Before you fly

To give you the greatest flexibility, when you book any flight with us now through March 31, you can change it for free over the next 12 months – any ticket, any fare type, any destination.

 

On the ground

Our team of in-house medical experts and industrial hygienists oversee our aircraft cleaning procedures to ensure they meet or exceed all CDC guidelines. Hard surfaces such as lavatories, tray tables, window shades and armrests are thoroughly wiped down with a high-grade disinfectant and multi-purpose cleaner. And when we are advised by the CDC of a person who has traveled on board and is potentially exhibiting coronavirus symptoms, that aircraft is taken out of service and sent through a full decontamination process that includes our standard cleaning procedures plus washing ceilings and overhead bins and scrubbing the interior.

 

In the air

Our aircraft are equipped with state-of-the-art circulation systems, similar to those found in hospitals, which use a high-efficiency (HEPA) filter to circulate the air and remove more than 99% of airborne particles. We’re also adjusting our inflight service to limit person-to-person contamination. This includes handing beverages directly to customers instead of allowing customers to touch a tray and ensuring all flight attendants wear gloves during service.

 

More information on each of these efforts can be found on the United Hub.

 

I know I speak for every member of our United family when I say that we take the greatest pride in the role we play in the lives of our customers, personally and professionally.

 

I want you to know that you can continue to rely on us. So, the next time we have the privilege of welcoming you aboard our aircraft, you can know our commitment to you remains as steadfast as ever.

 

Oscar Munoz
CEO

 

 

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