Redefining Cleanliness Standards Across the Industry

As restrictions on travel amidst the COVID-19 pandemic begin to ease, companies across the industry are doing their part to ensure optimal safety for the upcoming flux of travelers. Below is an overview of how each segment of the travel industry is working together to put the health and safety of travelers first.

Click through the links below to review your preferred supplier’s new policies before your next trip to ensure compliance with any new requirements!


This informational article includes the latest on how each airline is optimizing flier and employee safety with new practices and protocols. Most major airlines now require fliers and employees to wear face masks during the boarding process and onboard the aircraft. Airlines are also reducing the number of passengers onboard by blocking middle seats in most sections of the plane cabin, in addition to loading the aircraft from back to front after pre-boarding.

As of early May, Delta has committed to sanitize 100 percent of its flights using electrostatic sprayers as a part of the Delta Clean commitment.

United Airlines recently introduced a new program called “CleanPlus” in partnership with the Cleveland Clinic and Clorox to implement enhanced protocols such as temperature checks for employees and rolling out touchless kiosks at select airports.

On all American Airlines planes, the cabin air is changed approximately 15 to 30 times per hour, or once every two to four minutes, similar to the standard for hospitals. All mainline aircraft are also equipped with High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters for maximum sanitation potential.


The American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) released a set of enhanced industry-wide hotel cleaning standards in response to COVID-19 called the Stay Safe Initiative. The standards address a number of topics including:

  1. Employee and Guest Health: Focusing on the frequency of washing hands, quality and placement of hand sanitizer, requirements for signage throughout high traffic areas of a property and reporting of any employee or guest health concerns.
  2. Employee Responsibilities: General advice on hand cleaning, sanitation training and consistent use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
  3. Cleaning Products and Protocols: Frequent disinfecting of public spaces and communal spaces is now mandatory, along with high-touch areas of guest rooms and shared equipment. Traditional room service will be temporarily replaced with a no-contact delivery method.
  4. Physical Distancing: As recommended by the CDC’s guidelines, guests are advised to practice physical distancing by standing at least six feet apart from other groups of people not traveling with them. Housekeeping will not enter a room during a stay unless specifically requested or approved, and the use of technology to reduce direct contact with guests at front desks is preferred where feasible.

“While hotels have always employed demanding cleaning standards, this new initiative will ensure greater transparency and confidence throughout the entire hotel experience," said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA in an interview published on "The industry's enhanced hotel cleaning practices, social interactions, and workplace protocols will continue to evolve to meet the new health and safety challenges and expectations presented by COVID-19."


Car rental companies across the industry have introduced new multi-step cleaning procedures including the enhanced disinfection of frequently touched areas of a car.

Hertz’s 15-step “Gold Standard Clean” procedure will mark each sanitized car with a “gold standard” seal across the doors.

"Sealing each vehicle is a first-of-its-kind practice in the car rental industry and one we believe will give customers added peace of mind knowing they are the only person to enter the vehicle after it's been thoroughly cleaned and sanitized," Hertz President and CEO Kathryn Marinello said in a statement.

Enterprise has similarly enforced a Complete Clean Pledge, with particular attention to cleaning 20+ high-touch points and a focus on social distancing protocols on shuttles. These protocols include one-way flow for passengers boarding the shuttles and limitations on the number of passengers on each bus.


Amtrak continues to operate as an essential service, though some routes have been reduced or suspended for the time being. To keep travelers safe, the company has implemented new cleaning practices to frequently disinfect commonly used surfaces, requiring face-coverings and providing arrival recommendations to prevent overcrowding. Contact-free service is the new standard with cashless payments only, the removal of non-safety materials from seatback pockets and “automatic door open” buttons for movement between cars.

Read more details in this Travel Pulse article.