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Alaska Airlines updates inflight procedures in an effort to keep passengers safe

March 03, 2020
3 min read
Alaska Airlines updates inflight procedures in an effort to keep passengers safe
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On a flight yesterday on Alaska Airlines from San Francisco to Newark, a flight attendant curtly refused my request for a refill of water. At first I thought she was too busy, but later another flight attendant told me they were no longer refilling glasses in an effort to prevent "cross-contamination."

It's just one part of several new policies and procedures Alaska Airlines has put into place to try and prevent the spread of disease, including the COVID-19 virus (novel coronavirus) currently spreading around the world.

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A coach meal on a San Francisco to Newark flight was served with no water refills as part of new safety procedures. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy.)

In-depth: What does the coronavirus outbreak mean for travelers?

In an updated blog post on what the airline is doing to prevent the spread of the deadly disease, Alaska Airlines says it has "always had robust cleaning processes on our aircraft and will continue using disinfectants that are effective against viruses. We’re also working closely with health experts from the University of Washington and following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control to help keep our people and guests safe."

An Alaska Airlines jet at the gate at Portland Airport (PDX) on Feb. 28, 2020. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy.)

Among the measures Alaska is now putting into place:

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  • Enhanced aircraft cleaning between flights
  • Ending drink refills, temporarily
  • Some flight attendants may wear gloves
  • Suspending warm towel service in first class
  • Temporarily ending onboard recycling
  • Ending use of fingerprint entry at lounges
  • Deploying hand sanitizer at gates and lounges

Alaska had previously announced it was waiving change and cancellation fees on all flights between Feb. 27 and March 12 for travel through June 1, 2020. You can go to Alaska Airlines for complete guidance on changes and cancellations.

Related: Some airlines cut back on inflight service to combat coronavirus. Will those changes stick?

Comprehensive guide: Coronavirus waivers and cancellations at U.S. airlines

In Europe: Coronavirus update: European airlines suspend Italy operations, offer waivers and changes

Full coverage: Complete guide to The Points Guy coverage of the deadly coronavirus

Featured image by Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-800 at Portland Airport PDX Feb 28, 2020.

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Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
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    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

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  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
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  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees