Business Treaveler logo

Travel news, reviews and intel for high-flyers

United Launches CleanPlus Initiative

Airline is partnering with Clorox and Cleveland Clinic to develop new protocols around cleaning, safety and social distancing

May 20, 2020

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, United Airlines is introducing United CleanPlus,  a new program in partnership with Clorox and the Cleveland Clinic to inform and guide United’s enhanced cleaning, safety and social distancing protocols. The collaboration means Clorox products will be used at United’s hub airports and the airline will consult with medical experts from the Cleveland Clinic on new technologies, training development and quality assurance programming.

Thus far, United has implemented more than a dozen new health and safety policies and procedures aligned with United CleanPlus, including:

In Airport Lobbies:

• Reducing touchpoints by temporarily shutting down self-service kiosks and beginning to roll out, in select locations, touchless kiosks that allow customers to print bag tags using their own device to scan a QR code

• Actively promoting social distancing with enhanced signage, including a 6 ft. rule at the ticket counters which allows for minimal contact between agents and customers

• Deploying sneeze guards at key interaction points, including at our check-in counters

At the Gate:

• Boarding fewer customers at a time to allow for more distance during the boarding process, minimizing crowding at the gate and jet bridge

• Asking our customers to self-scan their boarding passes at our gate readers

• Equipping our employees with disinfecting products available so they can disinfect high-touch areas including armrests and handrails

In the United Clubs:

• Protective sneeze guards installed at credentialing desks and customer service positions to minimize contact between guests and team members

• Enhanced safety and well-being of team members by requiring the use of personal protective equipment

• Increased the frequency of cleaning of high-touch surfaces and equipping team members with disinfectant cleaning products

• Removed seating at the bar area to actively promote physical distancing

• Pre-packaged food and beverages available only at the bar area to reduce customer touch points

Onboard Aircraft:

• Beginning May 22, United will introduce an “all in one” economy snack bag that replaces the economy beverage and complimentary snack choice service on domestic flights scheduled 2 hours and 20 minutes or more. This bag will include a wrapped sanitizer wipe, an 8.5 oz. bottled water, a Stroopwafel and a package of pretzels

• Enhancing cabin sanitization including electrostatic spraying, which will happen before every flight starting this June

• Requiring all employees and customers on board to wear a mask or face covering, helping protect each other

• Supplying individually wrapped hand sanitizer wipes to customers as they board

• Limiting advance seat selections where possible and allowing customers to take alternative flights when we expect a flight to operate over 70% capacity

Behind the Scenes:

• Implementing employee temperature checks before the start of their workday, better safeguarding their health as well as their teammates’ and customers’

• Employees are producing hand sanitizer that is being used throughout the airline

Clorox is working closely with United to enhance the airline’s cleaning program, redefine disinfection procedures and support a healthier and safer environment throughout the journey. Clorox products will first roll out at United’s hub airports in Chicago and Denver and will be used in the gate and terminal areas, with additional locations to follow.

Experts at the Cleveland Clinic provided guidance on the airline’s policies and procedures – from mandatory face coverings, to touchless kiosks in select locations for baggage check-in, to social distancing – and also advise on new technologies, training and quality assurance. And, as scientists learn more about how to fight COVID-19, Cleveland Clinic experts will help United use those discoveries to quickly implement new ways to keep customers safe.

“As the public begins to adjust to a world that’s been altered by the COVID-19 pandemic, health and safety is of the utmost importance,” said Tomislav Mihaljevic, M.D., Cleveland Clinic CEO and President. “It’s important for everyone to take precautions as we enter this new phase of COVID-19 response, and Cleveland Clinic is pleased to play a role in helping people travel safely.”