U.S. airlines seek to reassure travelers with safety measures


Frequent flyers might not recognize LAX.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) CONNIE PUBBADA, TRAVELER SAYING:

"Everybody’s very cautious, and they’re wearing masks."

Over the next two weeks, virtually all the major U.S. airlines will provide masks – and make them mandatory - for all passengers. The protective wear are already required for staff and crew.

It's just one of a slew of measures airlines are introducing as they look for ways to protect and reassure passengers amid the pandemic, which has decimated travel demand.

On CBS's Face the Nation on Sunday, Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly insisted it was safe to fly.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CEO GARY KELLY SAYING:

"We're using very deep cleanings every night. We're using electrostatic misters, which will kill the virus on surfaces for up to 30 days. We're exercising social distancing. And onboard the aircraft, we won't be booking airplanes full so that people can spread out. So absolutely, we're doing everything we can to make it as safe as humanly possible."

Kelly added that he doesn't think the risk on an airplane is any greater than anywhere else.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CEO GARY KELLY SAYING:

"It's as safe as an environment as you're going to find."

Meanwhile Delta Airlines released this video.

(SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) DELTA VIDEO VOICEOVER:

"Traveling with Delta is safer than ever." It showed employees wiping down public areas and using a fogging machine to decontaminate cabins.

While JetBlue - the first airline to mandate face coverings - released this video that showed the way air circulates onboard.

Appearing to counter this graphic that showed how germs from one person coughing can spread throughout an airplane cabin.

But that's not all – through its industry lobby group Airline for America – the carriers have also begun discussions with policymakers in Washington on measures such as virus testing and pre-boarding temperature checks, according to United Airlines Chief Communications Officer.