The Safest Airlines in the Time of COVID-19
Safety in the Skies
The Safe Travel Barometer’s Safe Travel Score for airlines is based on an independent audit of more than two dozen traveler health and safety measures in addition to traveler convenience initiatives, service excellence and overall traveler experience announced by airlines, regulatory and government authorities to reduce anxiety and improve confidence. Here are the top 10 North American airlines based on October 2020 performance.
Canadian carrier WestJet rounds out the top 10 North American airlines for traveler safety with a Safe Travel Score of 3.6 out of 5 for October 2020. WestJet made waves last month with news that it would refund passengers for flights canceled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
9. Air Transat
Air Transat is one of four Canadian airlines to make the top 10. The Montreal-based carrier recently began offering customers a COVID-19 Emergency Medical Certificate of Insurance through Manulife to cover emergency medical and quarantine expenses as well as provide assistance if coronavirus is contracted at some point during their trip.
8. American Airlines
American Airlines is keeping customers safe through its Clean Commitment, installing hospital-grade HEPA filters to recirculate cabin air once every two-to-four minutes as well as relying on EPA-approved products to clean its planes. What’s more the carrier continues to work closely with scientists and health experts and take in customer feedback to ensure a safe travel experience.
7. Allegiant Air
Budget airline Allegiant Air is one of three North American carriers to earn a Safe Travel Score of 3.8 out of 5 for October 2020. Allegiant was among the first airlines to provide free health and safety kits for customers and continues to prioritize safety through enhanced cleaning and minimized contact.
6. Air North
Canadian airline Air North is one of three North American carriers to score 3.8 out of 5. Yukon’s Airline is currently not selling middle seats other than to those in the same social bubble and performing deep cleaning on its planes using “a hospital-grade product called ZEP Aviation RTU Cleaner/Disinfectant, a broad-spectrum cleaning agent that has proven effective against viruses similar to COVID-19.”
5. United Airlines
With a Safe Travel Score of 3.9 out of 5, United Airlines ties British Airways but still narrowly trails a slew of other carriers around the world, including some major airlines in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Nonetheless, travelers can fly United with confidence as the airline has rolled out a number of elevated health and safety protocols and even introduced a new chat function to answer customers’ questions via text.
4. Alaska Airlines
Alaska Airlines continues to lead the way in terms of safety this fall, recently introducing a variety of touch-free options designed to prevent the potential spread of the coronavirus such as pre-ordering meals, purchasing food and beverages using a stored credit card and printing bag tags to avoid check-in kiosks.
3. Southwest Airlines
Low-cost carrier Southwest continues to offer discounted fares to incentivize travelers and is also limiting capacity through November 30 to allow for physical distancing aboard its planes. The airline is among the few worldwide to earn at least a 4 out of 5.
2. Air Canada
Canada’s flag carrier has been proactive in the battle against COVID-19, going so far as to offer complimentary COVID-19 emergency medical and quarantine insurance for eligible customers booking round-trip international flights this fall. Air Canada’s Safe Travel Score of 4 out of 5 is among the best in the world.
1. Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines scored the best in North America, earning a 4.1 out of 5 for October 2020. The carrier is limiting the capacity to keep middle seats open through January 6, 2021, which is longer than any of its competitors. Delta is also propelled by its flexible cancellation and rebooking policies.
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