The Future of Air Travel: United CleanPlus Initiates Healthier Travel Plan

United CleanPlus Airport Lobby Signage
United CleanPlus Airport Lobby Signage

United Airlines recently introduced United CleanPlus: the company’s new commitment to putting health and safety at the forefront of the customer experience, with the goal of initiating a cleanliness revolution in the airline industry. United CleanPlus brings together the disinfectant brand, Clorox, and American medical experts from Cleveland Clinic in Ohio to inform and guide United’s new standard of cleanliness. This protocol includes cleaning, safety and social distancing and giving customers options when flights are more full. Clorox products will be used at United’s hub airports and medical experts from the Cleveland Clinic will advise on new technologies, training development and quality assurance programming.

By establishing collaborations with these world-renowned leaders in surface disinfection and health, United hopes that customers can travel with more confidence knowing that the airline’s protocols have been informed by trusted experts.

“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, in a video message to customers. “We recognise that COVID-19 has brought cleanliness and hygiene standards to the front of customers’ minds when making travel decisions.”

Clorox is working closely with United to enhance the airline’s cleaning program, redefine disinfection procedures and equipping 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.

“Connecting the world more safely, when possible, is an important part of our recovery as a society,” stated Benno Dorer, Chair and CEO of The Clorox Company.

Experts at Cleveland Clinic provided guidance on the airline’s policies and procedures to ensure they meet or exceed industry standards. Such measures include sneeze guards, mandatory face coverings for crew and customers and installing touchless kiosks in select locations for baggage check-in. As they 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 programme 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.”

The United CleanPlus commitment to customers is already happening throughout the travel journey across the United network in a number of ways. To date, United has implemented more than a dozen new policies and procedures aligned with United CleanPlus that include the following:

In Airport Lobbies:

  • Temporarily shutting down self-service kiosks
  • Rolling out touchless kiosks in select locations that allow travellers to print bag tags using their own device to scan a QR code
  • Ticket counter signage, including a 6 ft. rule to encourage minimal contact
  • Deployment of sneeze guards at key high-interaction points

Gateside Measures:

  • Fewer travellers boarding at once to reduced crowding at gate and jet bridge
  • Self-scanning of boarding passes at gate readers
  • United employees have access to disinfecting products to best clean high-touch areas, such as armrests and handrails

In United Clubs:

  • Protective sneeze guards have been installed at credentialing desks and customer service positions
  • United Club team members are required to use personal protective equipment and increase the frequency of high-touch surface cleaning
  • Removal of bar area seating
  • Prepackaged food and beverages will only be available at the bar area

Onboard Aircraft:

  • 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 includes a wrapped sanitiser wipe, an 8.5 oz. bottled water, a Stroopwafel and a package of pretzels
  • Mask or face covering requirement for all employees and customers aboard a United flight
  • Each United customer will be given an individually wrapped package of hand sanitiser wipes
  • Limiting advanced seat selections where possible
  • Allowing customers to take alternative flights when a flight is expected to operate over 70% capacity
  • From June, every United cabin will undergo enhanced sanitisation, such as electrostatic spraying, before boarding

Behind the Scenes:

  • United employees undergo temperature screenings upon arrival at work
  • Some United employees are producing hand sanitiser to be used throughout the airline.

These new measures created for United CleanPlus are being rolled out across United aircraft and hubs. The guidelines will likely evolve in accordance with new findings made by health experts. COVID-19 is changing the way we travel from short-term restrictions to long-term shifts in health standards.

Responding to COVID-19, United Airlines debuts United CleanPlus: a series of health protocols aimed at revolutionising health standards in airline travel

Explore Holistic Luxury Wellness at the New Maldivian Velaa Spa

Velaa Spa Aerial View, Velaa Private Island, Maldives
Velaa Spa Aerial View, Velaa Private Island, Maldives

Centred in the heart of the Maldives’ Noonu Atoll, Velaa Private Island offers a new wellness experience for travelers seeking whole body rejuvenation

Responding to the shift towards holistic wellness in travel experiences, Velaa Spa launched in early 2020 to provide guests with a health conscious retreat. A luxury beach resort located in the Maldives’ Noonu Atoll, Velaa Private Island aims to blend Maldivian culture with contemporary luxury while providing guests with a boutique hideaway.

Of the luxury resort’s 47 private villas, houses and exclusive residences, 18 are built over water while the Romantic Pool Residence remains accessible only by boat.

Following the themes of comfort and luxury, the new Velaa Spa promises to offer guests unique relaxation and rejuvenation experiences catered to their individual desires.

Features of Velaa Spa

Velaa Spa is the resort’s new wellness brand that focused on complete rejuvenation. Perched above the resort’s lagoon, Velaa Spa promises to offer a sanctuary of spa treatments, personalised fitness and nutrition regimes.

Body, Nutrition, Fitness and Mind are the cornerstones of Velaa Spa’s philosophy. Offerings from the spa aim to adhere to these ideals and include the following experiences:

  • Multi-sensory treatments that blend organic ingredients with natural healing therapies
  • 3- and 5-day wellness experiences tailored to individual guests’ desires and needs
  • Monthly experiences with visiting practitioners from across the globe
  • A new menu of spa services, including such experiences as a series of healing signature treatments
  • New spa products ranging from Velaa Spa’s own line to products of Japanese skincare brand Kotoshina and of Dr Burgener’s luxury Swiss beauty range.

The New Wellness Experiences

The 3- and 5-day holistic wellness experiences offer guests to Velaa Spa the opportunity of experiencing a new wellness menu based on the latest technology and treatments to address individual health and lifestyle concerns of guests.

Guests can choose from four different experiences: The Detox, The Relaxing, The Rejuvenating and The Fitness Reviver. Each package offers a range of massage treatments and facials, personal training sessions, meditation and juices. This holistic approach to personal well-being and restoration is facilitated by therapists, qualified nutritionists and fitness trainers.

On the Spa Menu

The Velaa Spa offers a range of treatment experiences including facials, massages and body-slimming rituals. Signature treatments of Velaa Spa include the Green Caviar Facial—which uses green caviar sourced from Okinawa, gold trace elements and ultrasound waves to benefit the skin on a cellular level.

The light and sleep therapy pod, Cloud 9, aims to recreate the feeling of being cradled as a child while the snow room promotes detoxification. Slimming programmes at Velaa Spa include G5 figure contouring and HIFU body sculpting. Nail and beauty services available to guests include hair styling and Kérastase treatments while a junior range caters to younger guests.

Visiting Practitioners

Velaa Spa aims to host practitioners and wellness specialists with a new featured expert each month. Ranging from hypnotherapist and nutritionists to personal trainers and many more, these practitioners-in-residence will provide guests with access to their expertise, training and healing.

New Spa Products

Velaa Spa Products—the resort’s new spa line—will feature products and scents inspired by the island’s flora and the surrounding ocean. The line aims for a multi-sensory approach with products including essential oils, fragrance reeds, aromatherapy candles and mist. These products will be used across the range of Velaa Spa’s services and be available for purchase.

Two partner spa product lines, Kotoshina and Dr Burgener, offer guests to Velaa Spa a unique experience in the Maldives. Originating from Kyoto, Kotoshina is organically produced with ingredients such as green tea and spring water. The swiss line, Dr Burgener, was created by welling practitioners and features a luxury skincare range that combines natural active ingredients with advancements in science and technology.

More about Velaa

Translating to “turtle” in the local language, Velaa is named for the generations of sea turtles that flock to the island to nest and hatch. From a broader “bird’s eye view”, which guests arriving by seaplane may experience, the island’s exclusive over-water villas are constructed to resemble the head of a turtle, with the island forming the body.

Giving back to the creatures and ecosystem that helped name and support the resort, Velaa Private Island sponsors a coral restoration team that aims to rehabilitate the surrounding ocean life and educate guests.

With three restaurants, a cocktail lounge, champagne bar and wine cellar, Velaa aims to please the palate of all guests. Adventure awaits guests to the resort in the form of excursions, water activities, sports and more.

To find out more about what Velaa Private Island has to offer, follow the link below:

Soneva Leads the Way for a More Sustainable Maldives

Soneva’s Namoona Baa initiative with Maldivian governments has led to Maalhos becoming the first Maldivian island to stop open burning

Aerial beach view, Maldives
Aerial beach view, Maldives

In partnership with Common Seas, an international NGO dedicated to reducing marine plastic pollution, Soneva and island council presidents have pledged to reduce the waste produced in the Baa Atoll for a more sustainable Maldives.

Each island in the Namoona Baa initiative will create an ‘eco-centro’ waste-to-wealth centre that will sort, recycle and reuse island waste in an effort to end the practice of the open burning of waste. This is modelled on the Soneva resort practice of recycling 90 per cent of food and organic waste, metals, plastics and bottles. The eco-centre on Maalhos has already enabled the island to completely stop the open burning of rubbish and waste.

In February, Parliamentary Speaker Mohamed Nasheed and Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh took part in a friendly cricket match celebrating this step towards a more eco-friendly and sustainable Maldives. Speaking at the dinner that followed, Nasheed said: “What we have brought to our islands in the course of building a life, has taken us over – waste has taken over our reefs, beaches and islands. This waste is now a curse.”

Central to the Namoona Baa initiative is the reduction in the volume of plastics arriving to the island nation. This effort is supported by the establishment of a water treatment plant that desalinates and mineralises sea water, bottling the beverage in reusable glass containers.

“The eco-centro is a revolution for Maalhos,” noted island council president, Abdulla Shujau. “After 20 years, we have turned our dump yard into a proper waste centre.”

The waste reduction program is fostered on a sense of love for the ocean and local environment. Soneva is nurturing a new generation of environmental stewards, enabling the Maldivian islands to “produce wealth from its waste,” as stated by Soneva CEO and co-founder, Sonu Shivdasani.

Dealing with waste, particularly plastic, is a major issue for every island community in the Maldives. Plastic bottles and bags tend to litter streets, island jungles and beaches, while waste is routinely burned in toxic, open bonfires. Human health and guesthouse tourism suffer as a direct result of this practice.

Under the Namoona Baa Initiative, the Maalhos model will be expanded to neighbouring Dharavandhoo and Kihaadhoo, with eco-centro waste-to-wealth centres established on both islands later this year. With government support, it is hoped that the model can be rolled out across the Baa Atoll and eventually the whole of the Maldives. A nationwide phase-out of single-use plastics in the Maldives is expected by 2023.