This month Delta Air Lines is rolling out anti-microbial bins at security checkpoints in their terminals at Atlanta, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Los Angeles, New York-LaGuardia and New York-JFK.
It seems odd they haven’t managed to add Detroit, Salt Lake City, or Seattle hubs to this list, or Boston, Raleigh, or Austin either. However the airline says they “will evaluate opportunities for expansion to other markets following the launch in these cities.”
TSA screening bins have more germs than the monkey in outbreak. Your fellow sick passengers touch the bins, they even put their dirty tissues and handkerchiefs in them before going through the nude-o-scope pockets empty. TSA provides their employees with blue gloves, not you. In fact these bins have the highest concentration of respiratory viruses anywhere in the airport, and “half of plastic airport security bins may carry viruses that cause respiratory infections.”
TSA instructs passengers to put food and snack items in these contaminated bins. Two years ago I wrote that these bins could accelerate a pandemic.
Solutions have abounded for years, but it took coronavirus for action to be taken. And it took Delta partnering with TSA rather than TSA itself to overcome inertia. For an agency charged with protecting us that’s disconcerting.
Three years ago I covered a bin material that used “mineral nano-crystals that react with light, the material creates a self-cleaning oxidation reaction…stronger than bleach and continuously is breaking down organic contaminants.” This was used in Akron three years ago:
Through a partnership with Western Reserve Hospital, Customers can enjoy a new clean. TSA bins are now outfitted with self-cleaning mats! pic.twitter.com/pAtMswBPeW
— Akron-Canton Airport (@CAKairport) August 29, 2017
United Airlines is using UVC technology to sanitize cockpits but should extend this to TSA checkpoints in terminals they control as well. That would do more than just sanitize bins – it could do something about floors travelers have to take off their shoes to walk on, too.
The actual flight is probably the safest part of the travel process. It’s good to see Delta investing more in end-to-end cleanliness. This benefits TSA, too, whose workforce has been heavily afflicted by the virus.