At the recommendation of our partners at Mayo Clinic, Delta is launching service changes to further streamline our onboard procedures and minimize the already-low risk of exposure to COVID-19 in flight. Starting this week:
Customers traveling in International Delta One and International Main Cabin will receive additional disinfecting wipes during their meal service.
Delta One pre-meal beverage service will be consolidated into the main meal service to reduce touchpoints.
Flight crews will make more space for each other by distancing during boarding and meal service.
Flight attendants will continue sanitizing, washing hands and changing gloves frequently. Flight attendants will have access to two colors of gloves, one for all service duties and another for refreshing the lavatories and other spaces in the cabin.
“Through these and future changes, our consistent delivery of all our Delta CareStandard safety, service and cleanliness protocols continue to be crucial to delivering on our health and safety promises,” said Allison Ausband, S.V.P. – In-Flight Service. “Combined with the caring, attentive service of our amazing flight attendants, we know these changes will continue to boost our customers’ confidence as they return to Delta.”
This fall, a team of experts from Mayo Clinic boarded a Delta A330-300 at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to observe a simulation of the in-flight service our flight attendants deliver to customers and to share their views on key safety considerations as Delta continues to refine our processes during the pandemic. The resulting recommendations were based on that experience.
“We asked Mayo Clinic to take a hard look at our food and beverage service, the way the flight attendants prepare the food, the way they deliver it to the customer, the way they interact with each other,” said Jaime Jewell, Delta’s Director – In-Flight Service, Brand Strategy and Customer Experience. “We want to create an environment on the airplane that [customers] feel great about and that our crews feel great about, so they’re confident to come fly again.”
The Mayo Clinic team observed meal, snack and beverage service in all cabins, flight attendant announcements, interactions and other in-flight responsibilities, and facilitated Q&A sessions with Delta leaders and participants.
Mayo Clinic Professor of Medicine Christopher Wittich added, “We’re thinking about ways to help decrease the risk of COVID-19 transmission and looking at the amount of time masks are off, the data, the current science – putting that all together to make the best recommendations for policies and procedures for Delta.”
Delta and Mayo Clinic
Delta and Mayo Clinic launched a partnership in June and have been working closely to review, enhance and improve health and safety protocols.
“Mayo Clinic is helping us to find that balance between minimizing risk and exposure and doing it in a way that is genuinely warm and caring - and feels like us,” Jaime said.
Mayo Clinic physicians have also headlined virtual town hall meetings for both customers and employees, addressing current concerns and speaking to the effectiveness of the measures Delta has launched, from mask requirements to blocking middle seats through March 2021.