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The following message from Delta CEO Ed Bastian and Dr. Henry Ting of Mayo Clinic was emailed to Delta customers Friday
It has been more than six months since COVID-19 began altering our lives in the U.S. In that time, we’ve focused on offering you the safest and cleanest experience possible. By sharing what we’ve learned and what is to come, you can feel confident when you’re ready to travel with us. We are partnering with the best medical experts, including Mayo Clinic’s Dr. Henry Ting, to:
Prioritize your health and safety
Mayo Clinic continues to provide input on a range of health and safety practices throughout the travel journey via weekly meetings of the Integrated Advisory Council made up of Delta leaders and Mayo Clinic medical experts. Just last week, members of Mayo Clinic’s team reviewed the in-flight service you receive by watching a group of Delta flight attendants in action and shared additional key health and safety considerations to keep in mind as we continue to refine our processes.
To date, Delta people have evaluated and delivered more than 100 enhanced cleanliness and safety innovations, processes and ideas to safeguard you and fellow employees, including:
- Installing more than 5,300 hand sanitizer stations onboard and throughout airports and 2,600 plexiglass shields throughout your journey
- Cleaning aircraft nearly 300,000 times using electrostatic spraying to disinfect every flight
- Replacing nearly 500 aircraft HEPA air filters – twice as often as recommended – and installing almost 600 MERV14 filters in jetways to ensure the air you breathe is cleaner than the air in almost any public space
- Distributing more than 1 million care kits and more than 14.5 million snack bags to customers
- Continuing to block middle seats through Jan. 6, 2021 to provide space for safer travel
Take care of the people who take care of you
Partnering with Mayo Clinic, Quest Diagnostics and CVS Health, we designed an unprecedented employee COVID-19 testing program across our entire workforce. Widespread, proactive testing is one of the best ways to slow the spread of the virus, in addition to putting other layers of protection in place, according to Mayo Clinic. The infection rate among Delta’s customer-facing employees is below the national average and shows that our safety measures are working.
Prepare for the future and stay one step ahead
We understand that finding accurate and reliable information around COVID-19 can be difficult. Mayo Clinic recently developed a dashboard that allows you to monitor COVID-19 trends, both locally and nationally, and provides recommendations on the steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones.
The medical experts at Mayo Clinic agree that the accumulation of layers in place makes a difference. We hope you find comfort in the policies we’ve implemented to keep you safe, including blocking middle seats, using electrostatic spraying on surfaces in the airport and onboard between flights, and requiring masks. Wearing a mask is the No. 1 thing each of us can do to help control the spread of the virus and protect each other.
Beyond what’s in place, we are committed to assessing health and safety measures going forward. For example, we’ve recently implemented the use of ATP testing devices – which are regularly used to swab surfaces in hospitals and restaurants – to spot check high-touch surfaces in the airport and onboard. Early tests indicate promising results about the cleanliness of Delta touchpoints, and we’ll be gathering more data in the months ahead to continue building upon our standards to ensure surfaces are consistently cleaned to the highest internal specifications.
This year has been challenging, but we have been able to prioritize what is important – people. Your health and safety have been and will remain our top priority. Thank you for continuing to protect yourself and others by wearing a mask and for trusting us to take the best care of you when you’re ready to return to the skies.
CEO, Delta Air Lines