"Safety has always been our top priority, and right now in the midst of an unprecedented crisis, it's our singular customer focus," said United CEO, Scott Kirby. "We recognize that COVID-19 has brought cleanliness and hygiene standards to the front of customers' minds when making travel decisions, and we're not leaving a single stone unturned in our pursuit to better protect our customers and employees."
Clorox is working with United to enhance the airline's cleaning program, redefine disinfection procedures and equip customers with amenities at select locations that help support a healthier and safer environment throughout their travel journey. Clorox products will first roll out at United's hub airports in Chicago and Denver and will be used in the gate and terminal areas, with additional locations to follow.
"We're proud Clorox will play a role in United CleanPlus to enhance people's safety when they travel," said Benno Dorer, chair and CEO, The Clorox Company. "Connecting the world more safely, when possible, is an important part of our recovery as a society. Together we are helping people when they travel for work or pleasure. We look forward to working with United to explore more ways to help keep their customers healthy during their travel experience."
United says it consulted with experts at Cleveland Clinic to provide guidance on the airline's policies and procedures – from mandatory face coverings, to touchless kiosks in select locations for baggage check-in, to social distancing – and ensure they meet or exceed industry standards. Medical experts from the Cleveland Clinic will also advise on new technologies, training development and quality assurance programming. And, as scientists learn more about how to fight COVID-19, Cleveland Clinic experts will help United use those discoveries to quickly implement new ways to keep customers safe.
"As the public begins to adjust to a world that's been altered by the COVID-19 pandemic, health and safety is of the utmost importance," said Tomislav Mihaljevic, M.D., Cleveland Clinic CEO and President. "We are proud to be part of this program and to share the knowledge we've gained as we've worked to contain and understand COVID-19 over the past several months. It's important for everyone to take precautions as we enter this new phase of COVID-19 response, and Cleveland Clinic is pleased to play a role in helping people travel safely."
To date, United says it has implemented more than a dozen new policies and procedures aligned with United CleanPlus that are designed with health and safety in mind, including:
In Airport Lobbies:
- Reducing touchpoints by temporarily shutting down self-service kiosks and beginning to roll out, in select locations, touchless kiosks that allow customers to print bag tags using their own device to scan a QR code.
- Actively promoting social distancing with enhanced signage, including a 6 ft. rule at the ticket counters which allows for minimal contact between agents and customers.
- Deploying sneeze guards at key interaction points, including at our check-in counters.
At the Gate:
- Boarding fewer customers at a time to allow for more distance during the boarding process, minimizing crowding at the gate and jet bridge.
- Asking our customers to self-scan their boarding passes at our gate readers.
- Equipping our employees with disinfecting products available so they can disinfect high-touch areas including armrests and handrails.
In the United Clubs:
- Protective sneeze guards installed at our credentialing desks and customer services minimizing contact between our guests and team members
- Enhanced team member safety and well-being by requiring the use of personal protective equipment
- Increased the frequency of cleaning our high-touch surfaces and equipping our team members with disinfectant cleaning products
- Removed seating at the bar area to actively promote physical distancing
- Pre-packaged food and beverages are only available at the bar area to reduce customer touch points
- Beginning May 22, United will introduce an "all in one" economy snack bag that replaces the economy beverage and complimentary snack choice service on domestic flights scheduled 2 hours and 20 minutes or more. This bag will include a wrapped sanitizer wipe, an 8.5 oz. bottled water, a Stroopwafel and a package of pretzels
- Enhancing cabin sanitization including electrostatic spraying, which will happen before every flight starting this June.
- Requiring all employees and customers on board to wear a mask or face covering, helping protect each other.
- Supplying individually wrapped hand sanitizer wipes to customers as they board.
- Limiting advance seat selections where possible and allowing customers to take alternative flights when we expect a flight to operate over 70-percent capacity.
Behind the Scenes:
- Implementing employee temperature checks before the start of their workday, better safeguarding their health as well as their teammates' and customers'.
- Employees are producing hand sanitizer that is being used throughout the airline.