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Delta Air Lines details its expanded cleaning processes

Oct. 20, 2020
3 min read
Delta Air Lines details its expanded cleaning processes
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It was great to see the number of travelers passing through TSA checkpoints top 1 million a day this past weekend — the first time since March. But that was still way down from the pre-pandemic level of 2.6 million.

Before we can get up to that level again, airlines need to build more confidence in their expanded cleaning procedures and that it's safe to fly.

Delta Air Lines is one of those leading the push, selling Americans on the new world of masked passengers and sanitized jets. It's all part of an effort to win over a public still dubious of mingling with others.

RELATED: A look at how Delta cleans jets between each flight

Bill Lentsch, Delta’s chief customer experience officer, reminded passengers about the airline’s strict mask policy, new social distancing markers and constant cleaning procedures. He made the comments in a Facebook Live discussion moderated by The Points Guy founder and CEO Brian Kelly.

It’s less about the bottom line and more about safety and building a long-term relationship with our customers, he told the virtual crowd.

“People before profits” has been Delta's philosophy, Lentsch said.

That message was echoed by Dr. Carlos Del Rio, a professor of epidemiology and global health at Emory University School of Medicine, and an infectious disease special advisor to Delta.

“It is safe to fly now,” he told the group.

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That message has been back up by at two recent high-profile studies.

The international trade group for airlines published a study on Oct. 8 that concluded you were much more likely to get struck by lightning than to catch COVID on a plane. The study by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) found just 44 confirmed cases of COVID-19 caught on a flight from among the 1.2 billion people that flew between January and July this year.

Then last week, the Department of Defense and United Airlines released a study that found the risk of breathing in a COVID-19 particle on a flight where all passengers are wearing masks is just 0.003%.

Delta’s panel, which also included representatives from its partners at Mayo Clinic, Lysol and Purell, focused on the blocking of the majority of the airline's middle seats, its mask requirements and the electrostatic spraying of disinfectant between every flight. To underscore how seriously Delta is about mask compliance, Lentsch noted that 460 passengers have, so far, been banned from flying Delta because they have refused to wear a mask.

Delta also has been regularly testing its employees for COVID-19.

Dr. Henry Ting, chief value officer at the Mayo Clinic, said he’s been working closely with Delta on that effort. He noted that the testing doesn’t just keep employees safe, but also passengers. The next focus is on rapid COVID testing for passengers.

Eventually, airlines will return to a more-normal state of operations. But, in getting to that point, Lentsch reiterated that Delta would not be driven by profits but by when the health situation warranted such a return. Even then, many of these new enhanced processes won't go away.

"There's no finish line," he said, "for us for cleanliness."

To view the entire discussion, please visit Facebook here.

Feature photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

Featured image by NurPhoto via Getty Images

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5XGet 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
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  • Intro Offer
    The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

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  • Annual Fee

    $695
  • 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
    Good, Excellent

Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.