Delta Partners With Lysol To Make Flying Safer (And Clean The Lavatories)

United Airlines branded its cleanliness efforts with Clorox. Hilton puts Lysol stickers on hotel room doors after the rooms have been cleaned. Now Delta Air Lines has struck a deal with Lysol as well.

Lysol will provide Delta with disinfectant spray and wipes and “develop new protocols for areas such as lavatories.” They’ll also work on “disinfection procedures at departure gates and in Sky Clubs, and Delta will deploy “care carts” with EPA-approved Lysol disinfection products.”

Strikingly Lysol’s parent company will work with Delta “to gather information on what customers’ concerns are about germs while traveling.” You read that right,

  • This isn’t working with scientists to figure out the best way to clean and disinfect

  • This is consumer research to figure out how to convince people things are clean enough that they feel comfortable traveling.

One United manager described airline cleanliness efforts as “literally a con job” in that they’re about confidence of travelers, rather than actual safety.

United executives have shared that after they took the idea of electrostatic spraying of cleaning products from Delta, they’ve had problems witht he rollout and though they say they are “[u]sing electrostatic spraying on all aircraft before departure for enhanced cabin sanitation” in fact the machines are currently only available at hubs and major outstations.

With the CDC advising that surface transmission doesn’t appear to be a primary mechanism for spread of Covid-19, your greatest risk may be crowded gate areas and jet bridges as well as security checkpoints. The things that go the farthest in making air travel safe seem to be refresh rate of cabin air and HEPA air filtration (not available on many planes with 50 or fewer seats).

My own view is that this marketing matters, and that I hope the investment in cleaning continues even after the Covid crisis. However what you should do to travel is invest in high quality masks, bring the full 12 ounces of hand sanitizer you’re permitted (despite CDC guidance on limited surface transmission risks) and avoid crowded areas. And if you’re flying American or Spirit consider buying the middle seat next to you.

The best news from Delta today, though, is an increased focus on lavatory cleanliness.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Safety first. If you’re flying American or Spirit consider buying all the other seats in the aircraft.

  2. Up until 2017 Delta didn’t even provide supplies on the 747 to Asia for crew to clean lavatories. Until then they just had some gloves and paper towels.

  3. Until they have shower attendants like on Emirates that clean after each passenger I refuse to believe any of this. I want to see it. It’s pure theatrics. Nice job though by Lysol and Clorox to get some branding placement in.

  4. This is security Theatre for thE masses
    If airline do what they have been doing until now it is enough but the masses want to see LYSOL as if it means anything
    Same with hotels, if anybody believes the maid will do anything different then they are fooling themselves and actually I think it is enough
    After a month neither the airline or the hotels will enforce the protocols
    This is just so the sheep go sleep quietly
    All these marketing names “extra clean” and similar are meaningless

  5. What good is a super clean aircraft lavatory when Delta Airlines runs out of toilet paper? Passengers will be unable to find a Sky Magazine for emergency toilet paper as they stopped publishing.

  6. What is a super clean aircraft when there are potentially infected people in it? Unmasked, slowly sipping their coca-cola…

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