Salina, KS -
United Airlines has responded to the coronavirus global pandemic with stepped up safety precautions to ensure travel has a minimal impact on health, as well as changes to provide customers flexibility at this time.
“The health scare, related to the COVID-19 virus, could worry people about boarding a plane,” said Gary Foss, managing partner of the ArkStar Group, air service consultant to Salina, “but United is moving to calm concerns about air travel.”
Safety is the top priority for all flights, including the daily treks from Salina to Chicago O’Hare and Denver International airports, according to a United Airlines release:
- All touchable surfaces on United aircraft are cleaned with high-grade disinfectants between flights.
- When the Federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) alerts the airline that a potentially infected passenger has been on one of its flights, the plane is taken out of service for decontamination procedures.
- United uses state-of-the-art air circulation systems similar to those found in hospitals, equipped with high efficiency (HEPA) filters that remove up to 99.7 percent of onboard airborne particles.
- The airline plans to start using electrostatic foggers to disinfect the air within the cabin on all international arrivals into all of United’s U.S. hubs, including Honolulu and Guam.
Among in-flight service changes will be fresh, clean glasses for every drink refill; customers may see flight attendants wearing gloves; and of course, all tableware, dishes, cutlery, carts and glassware are washed and sanitized after each use.
Flight attendants will hand food to travelers rather than travelers making their own food selections from a tray.
Extra cleaning supplies — gloves and masks — for flight crews, are being used to and from higher alert zones, as identified by the CDC.
To encourage travel, airlines have lowered many fares, some drastically.
“I can certainly see where people will be looking to stay closer to home this summer, particularly given restrictions on flights to Europe, Asia and elsewhere,” Foss said. “And they will be looking for a deal.”
On the list of top destinations from Salina, some roundtrip fares are significantly lower, among them:
- Salina to Seattle dropping as low as $171, from $404 to $233.
- Salina to Salt Lake City, cut as much as $62, from $433 to $371.
- Salina to Puerto Vallarta, down $71, from $708 to $637.
- Salina to Houston, trimmed to as low as $25, from $286 to $261.
- Salina to Cabo San Lucas in Baja, Calif., down as much was as $24, from $509 to $485.
- Salina to Phoenix has dropped as much as $22, from $385 to $363.
for changes in fares and other adjustments.
While no changes to United’s schedule at Salina have been announced or are expected, United’s April 2020 flight schedule has other changes elsewhere to match the current state of global travel, such as a 10 percent reduction on domestic flights and 20 percent in international service reductions, including suspending service to Shanghai, Chengdu, Beijing, and Hong Kong in China.
Domestically, flight frequencies from many destinations are being reduced by Day of Week and some travelers are being routed over other United hubs to their final destinations. Additionally, some seasonal market launches are being delayed.
No markets will be canceled in their entirety, according to United’s announcement.
To help travelers’ confidence during these uncertain times, United is waiving change fees and giving travelers more flexibility:
- The change fee waiver policy applies to all tickets, all fare types, all destinations, all points-of-sale, and all travel dates available for sale.
- For tickets affected by schedule changes, travelers can use the ticket’s value for up to 15 months, up from the original priced of 12 months for them to remain valid.