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
- 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
- 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.