DALLAS, TX (KRQE) – In an email sent out to customers Monday, Southwest Airlines outlined the efforts they are taking nightly to help combat easily spreading viruses like the COVID19 outbreak. Ryan Green, SVP & Chief Marketing Officer stated that they are in close communication with medical professionals, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), government agencies, and internal teams to stay on top of the evolving situation.

Southwest Airlines says that their aircraft routinely undergo more than six hours of cleaning every night and as of March 4, Appearance Technicians have enhanced their cleaning procedures by expanding the use of an EPA-approved and hospital-grade disinfectants across the passenger cabin, flight deck, and lavatories. Southwest said, “we equip each of our aircraft with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter, which filters out recirculated air onboard each plane to remove airborne particles. HEPA filters are also used in hospitals to provide patients with clean air.”

The CDC notes that older adults and travelers with underlying health issues should avoid situations that put them at increased risk for more severe disease. This entails avoiding crowded places, avoiding non-essential travel such as long plane trips, and especially avoiding embarking on cruise ships.

Southwest’s policy on refunds:

We never charge Customers a fee to change or cancel (though fare differences might apply) their flights. If your plans change or if you decide to postpone your travel, the funds used to pay for your flight can be applied to future travel as long as you cancel your reservation at least 10 minutes prior to the scheduled departure. The funds are valid for future travel up to one year from the original purchase date and must be used by the individual named on the ticket.