PHOENIX (3TV/CBS5) -- No more snacks and drinks on Southwest flights, at least for now. Southwest Airlines says it will temporarily suspend snack and beverage service during its flights due to the coronavirus outbreak. The pause in service starts Wednesday, March 25 and will continue until further notice.
Southwest released the following statement Tuesday:
The well-being of Customers and Employees is the uncompromising priority on board every Southwest flight. Therefore, in accordance with health officials’ recommendations to limit close public interactions during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Southwest is temporarily suspending all in-flight beverage and snack service from Wednesday, March 25, 2020 until further notice. Our desire to continue providing Southwest Hospitality is as strong as ever, and the entire Southwest Team truly appreciates our Customers’ understanding of the difficult decisions we must make during these unprecedented times.
This is the latest confirmed information about the coronavirus in Arizona. This page will be continuously updated by the Arizona's Family digital staff.
Southwest says it is also taking other precautions to keep passengers safe. The airline says crew members spend more than six hours cleaning each aircraft every night. And, as of March 4, 2020, they have enhanced their overnight cleaning procedures by including the use of hospital-grade disinfectant throughout the aircraft.
All of Southwest's aircraft are also equipped with HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters, which filter out airborne particles as the air on board is recirculated with outside air. These same HEPA filters are used in many hospitals to enhance air quality within this environment.
Their aircraft are also designed with an air circulation system that mixes in fresh air from outside the plane. The HEPA filter and the air circulation system work together to provide the optimum air quality while on board a Southwest plane. On average, the airline says a complete exchange of cabin air and outside air is accomplished every three minutes.
For more information on Southwest's safety procedures, visit their blog for a detailed overview.
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