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As airlines keep ghost flights going as a condition to receive bailout money from the federal government, there have been safety concerns for the few fliers who are taking to the skies. American Airlines is easing this concern by making personal protective equipment available to its customers – a first for the major airlines in the U.S.
In early May, the airline will start distributing sanitizing wipes or gels in addition to face masks for the customers who board its planes. The offering will be expanded to all its flights as conditions and supplies allow, according to a statement released on Monday.
“We are looking out for our customers’ well-being to give them peace of mind while they travel with us,” said Kurt Stache, the company’s senior vice president of customer experience. “We’re moving quickly on these enhancements and we’ll continue to improve the travel experience for our customers and team members as we navigate these times together.”
American Airlines flight attendants will also be supplied with personal protective equipment to ensure the coronavirus doesn’t spread on its flights.
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Masks will be required during every mainline and regional flight starting Friday, May 1. Additionally, American Airlines has added a drawer in the galley of every mainline flight that contains personal protective equipment such as masks and sanitizing products, which can be accessed by flight attendants and pilots.
“Our team members on the frontline are truly going above and beyond during this time,” said Stache. “Their commitment is nothing short of incredible and we will continue to work with them to make sure they have the equipment they need to feel safe.”
Moreover, the company announced it has improved cleaning procedures by using an EPA-approved disinfectant in customer areas, tray tables, seatbelt buckles, armrests, window shades and seatback screens. The cleaning procedures also include wiping door and overhead bin handles. The new cleaning protocol is set to roll out this week.