Delta has earned a hospital-grade Diamond rating from Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) and SimpliFlying.
It is the highest-level certification for airline cleanliness and safety determined by the two organizations through a new, independent health safety audit across the industry.
“Delta Air Lines’ Diamond-level focus on continuously advancing customer health safety has been a shining example through COVID-19,” stated Dr. Joe Leader, APEX CEO, in a statement. “Beyond Delta’s certification, I have consistently witnessed their flight attendants’ commitment to safety and care on dozens of flights with my family during the pandemic. Polite mask checks over nose and mouth occur like clockwork on each pass. On our Delta flight last week, the lead flight attendant added that they would be regularly checking and cleaning the lavatory for added customer safety. On behalf of your customers, sincere thanks to all of the airline professionals working harder than ever in COVID-19 customer safety roles.”
In 2020, Delta launched the airline’s first Global Cleanliness organization and put in place more than 100 layers of protection to ensure a safe experience for customers and employees, known collectively as the Delta CareStandard. These safety measures include, but are not limited to, blocking middle seats and limiting onboard capacity for flights departing through March 2021, requiring masks through the travel journey; regularly sanitizing high-touch surfaces and replacing onboard industrial-grade HEPA filters twice as often as recommended.
“Keeping our people, our customers and our communities safe has never been more important,” said Mike Medeiros, V.P. – Global Cleanliness, in a statement. “We have high hopes that vaccinations will tame the virus this year, but we know that the next few months will be difficult. We’ll continue to focus on our health and safety protocols, developed in collaboration with partners like Mayo Clinic and RB, the makers of Lysol, as we deepen our presence with teams of clean ambassadors at airports and deploy new and emerging innovation to remain both effective and efficient.”
In recent months, the team of clean ambassadors has led efforts to install hand sanitizer stations and antimicrobial lighting on aircraft, provisioned Lysol Disinfecting Wipes to clean customer-facing areas at airports and on aircraft, and worked with TSA to introduce antimicrobial bins to screening lanes at select Delta hubs and ensure checkpoint cleanliness in airports nationwide. These and other efforts, including Delta’s commitment to putting in place additional touchless features throughout the travel experience, were among those recognized by the audit’s 10-category, 58-point checklist.
“Delta Air Lines has raised the bar for health safety in the industry by initiatives such as ATP devices to assess the surface cleanliness, antimicrobial LED lighting above lavatory sinks and countertops and oversight by a dedicated management team,” said Shashank Nigam, SimpliFlying CEO. “Taking such hospital-grade measures in ensuring health safety will help bolster trust among travelers.”