Southwest Airlines no longer cleaning armrests, seat belts between flights

National News

(CNN NEWSOURCE) — Southwest Airlines is cutting back on its cabin cleaning procedures that were put in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Dallas-based air carrier’s scaled-back changes include no longer sanitizing seat belts between flights.

Instead, cleanings will now focus on a few items such as tray tables and lavatories, the company said. It will also continue deep overnight cleanings.

According to a memo sent to flight attendants, the changes will reduce the time planes spend on the ground between flights.

In March, the airline instituted its enhanced cleaning protocol program, which included “a multi-step cleaning process, using a hospital-grade disinfectant.”

The carrier said then that the process was “designed to address high-touch areas such as interior windows and shades, every seatbelt buckle, passenger service units (including the touch buttons that control reading lights and vents that direct personal air), as well as seat surfaces, tray tables, armrests, etc.”

Southwest says it will limit plane capacity through October 31 to allow for middle seats to remain empty.

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