Clean Travel means different things in different contexts.
But as COVID-19 continues, clean travel increasingly refers to travel practices that actively prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Clean travel means traveling in a hygienic, responsible manner and choosing travel brands that follow best practices in cleaning, social distancing, and protecting the wellbeing of their customers.
Here are the frequently asked questions (FAQs) we often receive about clean travel at airports and on airplanes.
How is security / TSA screening different during COVID-19?
Passengers traveling in the US will find that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has adjusted its screening procedures in response to COVID-19:
1) Lower Passenger Volumes – Fewer people are traveling following the start of COVID-19, and TSA has consolidated security checkpoints to reflect reduced passenger volumes. Certain security checkpoints are closed and passengers may be required to use a different TSA checkpoint at the airport.
2) Social Distancing – TSA is encouraging social distancing and reducing contact between TSA employees and travelers, with continuing to ensure security. To accomplish this, TSA will allow fewer passengers to enter check points simultaneously, adding signage and floor decals to remind travelers to stay 6 feet apart, staggering the use of security lanes whenever possible.
3) Cleaning and Disinfecting – TSA employees are instructed to regularly clean and sanitize high-touch surfaces and security equipment at checkpoints. TSA employees will also use a new pair of gloves upon a passenger’s request, and use a new Explosives Trace Detection swab for each person.
4) Hand Sanitizer – During COVID-19, TSA allows one liquid hand sanitizer of up to 12 ounces for each passenger in carry-on bags. These containers must be screened separately which may add time to the screening process. All other liquids besides hand sanitizer need to be in containers of 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less, and carried in a clear plastic bag.
How should I choose a seat on the plane? Window or aisle?
Window seats furthest from other passengers are generally best. While flights remain relatively empty, some airlines are allowing passengers to choose their own seat, and leave an empty row between passengers.
In an aisle seat, it’s almost impossible to social distance from other passengers. Both flight attendants and passengers must walk up and down the aisle to reach the lavatory or to access the overhead bins.
United Airlines tries to notify passengers 24 hours before their flight if the plane will be more than 70% full. Customers can choose to take a different flight if they aren’t comfortable with how full the cabin will be.
How can I disinfect my seat area on an airplane?
If you’re traveling on an airline with leather or hard-covered seats, use sanitizing wipes to thoroughly clean your seat, head rest, arm rests, seat belt buckle before you sit down. If your seat is fabric or soft-covered, do not use disinfectant wipes on the seat material which can spread germs. In those cases, focus on the hard surfaces only.
Wipe down tray tables and seat-back screens as well (if you have one).
Sanitizing wipes require a minimum amount of time (often 30 seconds or more) to properly disinfect a surface. Make sure to consult your brand’s instructions and let the surfaces remain wet with disinfectant for the stated length of time.