At a time when nearly every airline is making a big point of how carefully it is cleaning its planes because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Southwest Airlines has announced it doesn't have the time to keep doing it as often.
In a move that may meet a lot of pushback, even from its usually very loyal partisans, the airline says it will continue cleaning tray tables and lavatories between flights, but will eliminate other aspects of between-flight cleaning in order to get the planes back in the air sooner. Seats and seatbelts and some other surfaces will new be cleaned only during the overnight deep cleaning.
The airline's statement says “We are optimising available staffing and coordinating our Southwest Promise elements by now cleaning some areas only during our overnight cleaning process, when Southwest teams spend six to seven hours per aircraft cleaning all interior surfaces." The goal is getting passengers off, and the next load on and off the ground quickly.