The Atlanta-based airline scored top 3 across multiple categories, making it the cleanest airline to travel with during the COVID-19 era.
Ever since the pandemic took flight earlier in March, all US airlines have had to adapt to the new times by changing their procedures across the board, all the way from banning alcohol on board to prohibiting all those who refused to wear a mask from flying. The Points Guy, a popular travel website, has analyzed how the top ten airlines in the U.S. have responded to the coronavirus pandemic and it seems like Delta is currently the cleanest and overall safest airline to travel during the COVID-19 times.
The wide-ranging report takes into account five different categories: ticketing, cleaning, on the ground (adjustment of the airline’s on-ground experience), onboard (new in-flight operations) and loyalty (treatment of loyal members). Delta Airlines came out on top across multiple categories, making it number one overall, followed by Alaska Airlines in second place and JetBlue in the third.
“Delta Air Lines earns top marks for its consistent, rigorous cleaning procedures and commitment to reduced capacity on its flights through at least Sept. 30, 2020,” reads the report. “It was the first U.S. airline to significantly change boarding procedures in light of the pandemic and was also first to announce elite status extensions, including new Choice Benefits for its most loyal travelers. While we haven’t seen notable promotions through its SkyMiles program, Delta has kept customer safety and well-being top of mind, and for this, it takes the top spot.”
The Atlanta-based airline did particularly well when it came to cleanliness where it got a perfect score of 20/20. Delta has implemented an impressive list of new measures which include “electrostatic spraying with disinfectant before every flight,” and “dedicated attention to high-touch areas like overhead bin handles and armrests.” The airline even promises to hold a flight if the cabin is deemed “not clean enough” prior to boarding.
When it comes to ticketing, however, Southwest Airlines surpasses Delta thanks to its flexible travel policies, “tailor-made for these hard times.” Meanwhile, JetBlue takes home the first prize when it comes to onboard experience due to its policy of blocking middle seats on larger aircraft and aisle seats on smaller ones through at least Sept. 8.
As the leaders of the surveys point out, it’s important to note that “the scores don’t guarantee that you’ll have a flawless experience with Delta during the pandemic, nor does it definitively prove that you’ll have a poor one with Spirit (the lowest-ranked airline on the survey).” However, it provides a bit of interesting insight into the way US carriers are facing the current coronavirus pandemic, helping travelers plan their trips carefully during these uncertain times.
[feature image: Nick Morales, Unsplash]