To align with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations and to keep employees and guests safe, face masks will be mandatory for guests starting May 11 and for Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air employees who cannot maintain six feet of social distance from guests or co-workers, starting May 4. This includes pilots, flight attendants and customer service agents.
“Safety is our most important value at Alaska Airlines, and thanks to our employees we have an incredibly safe operation. In light of COVID-19, we’re in a new era of air travel and are continually updating our safety standards to better protect our guests and employees. For now, this includes wearing face masks, which is another layer of protection that can reduce the spread of the virus,” said Max Tidwell, Alaska Airlines’ vice president of safety.
Guests will be expected a to bring their own mask and will be required to wear it throughout the airport and flight experience. Additional supplies will be available for anyone who forgets a face mask. Specific details about the face mask requirements will be shared with guests later next week and in pre-trip communications before their date of travel. The temporary policy will be reevaluated periodically as guidance evolves.
The face mask requirements are a few of several safety and social distancing measures Alaska Airlines is taking at the airport and in the air to support our employees and guests.
Other measures include:
- Expanded enhanced cleaning on flights, which includes use of high-grade, EPA registered disinfectants to sanitize critical touchpoints like tray tables, seat belts, overhead bins, armrests and lavatories.
- Expanded use of electrostatic sanitizing spray to disinfect aircraft interiors.
- Limiting the number of passengers onboard and blocking middle seats on large aircraft and aisle seats on small aircraft through May 31, 2020.
- Enhanced and more frequent cleaning of airport counters, lounges and high-traffic areas.
- Social distancing floor decals rolled out this week at airports to remind guests and employees to remain separated by at least six feet.
- Providing disposable surgical and re-usable fabric masks for employees.
- Continued use of hospital-grade air filters on all planes. These HEPA filters are proven effective in removing airborne particles and cycle new air into the cabin every three minutes.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has changed everything, and that includes how we fly. Safety is our number one priority and wearing masks will make air travel safer for everyone. We’re all in this together,” said Jeffrey Peterson, president of Alaska Airlines Master Executive Council, Association of Flight Attendants.
Frontier Airlines will begin requiring that passengers wear a face covering over their nose and mouth at the airline’s ticket counters, gate areas and onboard.