How Airplanes Are Cleaned Today

empty airplane, all seats are empty

The new standard for flying during the coronavirus pandemic is cleanliness. Before you get on your flight, it’s important you ask yourself about the sanitation of the plane. COVID-19 has truly changed the way passengers travel. But with the rise in COVID-19 cases, airlines like American, United, and Delta are taking the necessary precautions and extra measures needed to prevent further spread of the disease. Before you decide to travel via airplane, make sure you understand how clean airplanes are during COVID-19. Learn more about plane sanitation from our aircraft dispatcher school in Fort Lauderdale.

How Clean Are Airplanes?

To reduce passengers’ anxiety and flatten the coronavirus curve, airlines are stepping up their sanitation. The International Air Transport Association created sanitation guidelines for airlines to follow, but are they actually doing what they are supposed to?

Airlines are facing the harsh reality of juggling reducing the risk of COVID-19, but also keeping costs down in an industry that is tanking. But the anxiety from travelers is continuously rising as COVID-19 cases also rise. Airlines are going the extra mile to minimize the further spread of coronavirus. However, following the guidelines aren’t mandatory, and are simply acting as a suggestion for airlines.1 The guidelines include routinely disinfecting aircrafts after flights, screening passengers for their temperature, as well as, enforcing crew members to wear surgical masks.

But as the novel case of coronavirus continues to spread and cases rise, airlines are beginning to change their policies and procedures in hopes of preventing further spread. Cleaning and disinfecting the planes aren’t the only thing airlines are doing to reduce the risk of COVID-19.

American Airlines cleans it’s aircrafts daily with Environmental Protection Agency approved disinfectant.1 For planes that stay overnight at airports, they will receive more thorough cleaning for their hard surfaces, including armrests and tray tables. The airline is also giving crew members hand sanitizer and wipes for all international flights with hopes of implementing these practices on all flights.  

Delta Air Lines is using a fogging technique that uses an EPA approved disinfectant, similar to American Airlines. The disinfectant is used to combat communicable diseases.1 Whereas JetBlue created a response team to help monitor the situation while promoting proper hygiene like handwashing. Southwest Airlines and United Airlines are both wiping down surfaces and sanitizing their planes with a disinfectant solution.1  

Clean airplanes are the determining factor of flying now. Passengers aren’t interested in performance and prefer airlines to disinfect the plane. Workers are using electrostatic sprayers full of disinfectant to finely mist from front to the back of the cabins.2 The crew will also wipe down the seats, tray tables, armrests, and more with hand-held spray bottles.2  But the chance of catching COVID-19 on your flight is actually low. While that’s not to say flying is completely safe during the coronavirus pandemic, it is important to understand airlines are doing their best to keep you safe with their sanitation and disinfecting routine.

Sheffield School of Aeronautics is one of the oldest aviation training institutions in the United States, where you can take a flight dispatcher course and obtain your FAA dispatcher license. Sheffield has an outstanding reputation in the aviation industry, recognized by companies like Delta, United, KLM, American, Virgin Australia, Cayman Airways, Shanghai/China Eastern, ExpressJet, Federal Express, UPS, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, United Technologies, Mobil Oil, Gulf Air, Atlantic Southeast, Comair, Mesaba, Horizon, American TransAir, and many others for aircraft dispatcher training. If you’re interested in becoming an aircraft dispatcher, contact us to get started: 954-581-6022.



  1. Today – Coronavirus airplane travel: How US airlines are cleaning planes
  2. New York Times – See for Yourself: How Airplanes Are Cleaned Today
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