Sanitizer with your Stroopwafel? Many airlines are now providing cleaning supplies to passengers

Jun 14, 2020

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The next time you fly, don’t be surprised if your airline doles out a packet of hand sanitizer or some kind of disinfecting wipe to go along with your Biscoff cookies or tiny bag of Cheez-its.

As stay-at-home orders slowly lift around the country, airlines are looking for ways to woo passengers back to the skies. One of the newest efforts includes handing out personal cleaning supplies.

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Carriers from American to Allegiant are making wipes and sanitizer available to every traveler, a move that comes after many have already modified their onboard service to reduce physical contact between passengers and crews.

Brett Snyder, who runs The Cranky Flier blog and Cranky Concierge service said providing these amenities to customers is a smart move for airlines.

Related: How to thoroughly disinfect your airplane seat.

“I think it’s actually quite effective,” he said. “Having masks, encouraging cleanliness, those are the things that will have a real measurable impact on an airplane.”

In comparison, he said, social distancing practices like blocking middle seats are probably less effective.

Snyder doesn’t expect cleaning supplies to be a regular fixture on planes forever, especially on short-haul flights. But, he said that he hopes some other parts of airlines’ COVID-19 responses will become a more permanent part of the travel landscape.

Related: We got an inside look at how Delta is cleaning planes between every flight.

“Handing out individual kits, that’s pretty specific to a severe threat,” he said. “I hope that the stepped up cleaning procedures that airlines are using, I hope that that continues.”

While Snyder suggested that such clean kits could fade away on short-haul flights over time, he said he thinks it’s likely that hand sanitizer and other personal cleaning products could stick around longer as part of updated amenity kits on long-haul international routes.

For now, though, airlines have been adding cleaning and sanitizing items to their onboard lineup. The details vary by carrier, but read on to see what you can currently expect on U.S. airlines. Pictures are included for airlines that made them available:

Alaska

All passengers are required to wear masks while onboard, and the airline is handing out individually-packaged masks to travelers who do not have their own.

Allegiant

Allegiant COVID-19 clean kit. (Photo courtesy of Allegiant Air)
(Photo courtesy of Allegiant Air)

The airline is providing a kit that includes a single-use face mask, a pair of disposable non-latex gloves and two antibacterial cleaning wipes.

American

American service bag. (Image courtesy of American Airlines)
(Image courtesy of American Airlines)

Supplies and how they are distributed vary by flight length. Customers are given hand sanitizer in their snack bags on flights between 900 and 2,199 miles. On longer flights with meal service, American is distributing hand sanitizer on most meal trays. Sanitizer will be distributed during beverage service on most longer flights that do not have meals.

Delta

Delta clean kit. (Photo courtesy of Delta Air Lines)
(Photo courtesy of Delta Air Lines)

Delta has clean kits available to passengers by request at ticket and gate counters and onboard. They will include a disposable face mask, Purell hand sanitizer gel pouches and an information card detailing the airline’s cleaning protocols.

Frontier

The airline is not distributing cleaning supplies to passengers.

Hawaiian

Hawaiian hand sanitizer (Photo courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines)
(Photo courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines)

The airline is not providing a kit, per se. But Hawaiian’s flight attendants are distributing hand sanitizer as guests board, and the airline is making single-use masks available to customers who need one.

JetBlue

The airline is finalizing plans for clean kit distribution, so details are not yet available.

Southwest

The airline is distributing face masks and hand sanitizer to customers on request.

Spirit

TPG has reached out to Spirit for details about personal cleaning supplies and will update this post when we receive a response.

Sun Country

The airline is making hand sanitizer and wipes available at ticket and gate counters, and onboard.

United

The airline is combining its snack and clean kit bags on flights longer than 2 hours and 20 minutes. The package includes a wrapped sanitizer wipe, an 8.5 oz. bottled water, a Stroopwafel and a package of pretzels.

Featured photo courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines.

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