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Southwest announces it will no longer disinfect seat belts and armrests in-between flights

The carrier will only do so overnight.

Anna Rahmanan
Written by
Anna Rahmanan

Southwest just announced that, given its now busier schedule and less downtime between each flight (a good sign), crews will carry out specific cleaning procedures only overnight, as opposed to in-between each trip.

The new guidelines don't apply to high-touch areas (tray tables, lavatories), which will still be sanitized more frequently. Armrests and seatbelts, though, will only be thoroughly cleaned once a day.

Other COVID-19-related procedures are staying in place: middle seats on each flight are blocked until, at least, October; only small groups are allowed to board at the same time; face coverings are encouraged; and sanitizing wipes are available upon request—in case you want to wipe down your area before departure.

Southwest is the first major airline to re-evaluate the disinfecting guidelines put into place in reaction to the global pandemic, also recently announcing the use of thermal cameras to check passengers' temperatures prior to boarding. The latter program is being rolled out this month at the Dallas Love Field airport and will be tested for 30 to 90 days. It's the dawn of a new era in the world of travel indeed.

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