On Wednesday, JetBlue announced its commitment to ensure guest won’t sit next to those with whom they do not know. In an effort to promote social distancing on flights, Jet Blue will block middle seats in rows where parties are not traveling together through July 6.
JetBlue spokesman Derek Dombrowksi told Forbes “We are calling it a commitment because that’s what it is. We can guarantee that you won’t be seated next to a stranger. If you see three people sitting across a row, you can be assured that those people are traveling together.”
JetBlue became the first airline to offer such a commitment. Other airlines have made such deceleration, however, guests have complained of feeling “unsafe” because of a fully booked flight on American Arlines.JetBlue’s “Safety from the Ground Up program is all about protecting guest as well as crew members from before and after the plane has boarded.
Joanna Geraghty, president and chief operating officer said, “As communities start to reopen and with summer travel kicking off this weekend, more people are beginning to fly and we want them to feel safe on JetBlue. Geraghty also said, “Our program layers together a series of protections throughout the entire travel journey, which work together to help keep everyone safe and well.”
JetBlue provided what guest can expect during the program:
Layering Together a Series of Protections
JetBlue’s program puts in place safeguards across four focus areas, and the airline continues to work under the guidance of an infectious disease specialist and informed by CDC guidelines.
Healthy crew members
Steps to ensure the health and safety of JetBlue’s 23,000 crew members include:
- Conducting temperature checks for our pilots and inflight crew members (rolling out first week in June)
- Providing paid sick leave and additional time off programs so crew members do not come to work sick
- Following company-wide protocols for reporting cases of the coronavirus, notifications and return to work clearance
- Providing disinfectant kits for crew use
- Requiring face coverings for all crew members while boarding, in flight, and when physical distancing cannot be maintained
Clean air and surfaces
JetBlue is using disinfectant approved to kill coronavirus and maintaining healthy air onboard its aircraft. Steps include:
- More frequent disinfecting of common surfaces like kiosks and counters inside our airport terminals
- Providing hand sanitizer throughout terminals and disinfectant wipes to customers on board upon request
- Increasing aircraft cleaning before every flight and overnight, including surfaces that are touched most like tray tables
- Using electrostatic sprayers to fog the inside of our aircraft (rolling out soon)
- Filtering cabin air through hospital-grade HEPA air filters with cabin air completely changing about every three minutes
- (To learn about how air circulates onboard JetBlue’s fleet, view this JetBlue video at https://youtu.be/Q2_C2iN-tEs)
More space, fewer touch points
To increase physical distancing and to decrease touch points, JetBlue is implementing the following steps:
- Requiring face coverings for all customers during check-in, boarding and inflight
- Blocking middle seats on larger aircraft and aisle seats on smaller aircraft for those not traveling together (at least through July 6)
- Providing the most space between each row of seats in coach of any U.S. airline* and spacious seating on all aircraft
- Providing touchless check-in and boarding experiences using the JetBlue mobile app and self-boarding gates for many of our flights
- Implementing a back-to-front boarding process for most customers to minimize passing in the aisle
- Adjusting on board service including pre-sealed snack and beverage bags in Core, and pre-packaged fresh meals in Mint
- Using your personal device as a remote for seatback screens on select planes
JetBlue has adjusted policies allowing customers to choose to travel when they are comfortable:
- Waiving change and cancel fees for tickets purchased by May 31 to give customers confidence when booking
- Extending Travel Bank credit expirations to a 24-month period for credits issued between Feb. 27 and May 31
- Providing 24/7 support and award-winning customer service
Eric L. Martin Chubby Diaries Travel Analyst. He writes on the latest Travel News and much more.
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