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Southwest Promise

Enhanced cleaning, physical-distancing measures, and equipped Employees

The Southwest® Promise from check-in to deplaning

When you travel with Southwest, know this: Our top priority has and always will be your Safety. We’ve employed stringent cleaning and Safety practices to support the health and wellness of our Employees and Customers. We’re using electrostatic and anti-microbial spray treatments, cleaning aircraft between each flight using a disinfectant with the same grade that’s used in hospitals and restaurants, implementing physical-distancing measures, limiting the number of Passengers onboard, modifying boarding procedures, and providing masks for Employees. Learn more about the Southwest Promise and what it means when you are ready to travel.

Everything you need to know

We have added multiple layers of stringent cleaning and disinfecting:

  • Both an electrostatic disinfectant and an anti-microbial spray are applied on every surface of the aircraft, killing viruses on contact and forming an anti-microbial coating or shield for 30 days.
  • Sani-Cide EX3, a broad-spectrum disinfectant, will be used to clean commonly used areas (onboard lavatories, tray tables, armrests, seat belts, flight attendant call buttons, and overhead bin handles) before every flight. (Begins mid-May)
  • We also deep clean each plane from nose to tail for nearly 6-7 hours every night. (Began March 4)
  • Our gate areas, ticket counters, and baggage claim areas are cleaned multiple times a day.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available at the airport and wipes will be available onboard for Customers.
  • We use HEPA air filters onboard our aircraft, which remove 99.97% of airborne particles—similar to technology found in hospitals.
  • We have aligned these stringent cleaning policies and procedures with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

We have added new physical-distancing practices:

  • We are limiting the number of people onboard each flight to provide Customers more personal space so there will be no need for the middle seat to be occupied (currently through June). But if you’re traveling together, you can still sit together.
  • Our boarding process is changing. We’re boarding in groups of 10 and only on one side of our boarding poles to help our Customers spread out.

Everything you need to do

  • Face coverings are required at the airport and while traveling. Customers will be required to wear a face covering in order to board the plane beginning May 22. It is highly encouraged to bring your own hand sanitizer and face covering. If you forget your face covering at home, a mask will be available for you. For more information on our face covering policy, see our FAQ.
  • Download your mobile boarding pass prior to arrival to limit the amount of exchanges you make with others.
  • Arrive at the airport earlier to allow for new check-in and security processes.
  • Maintain physical spacing at the airport and onboard.
  • Starting May 22, we will begin serving cans of water with straws, and a snack mix on flights over 250 miles. For all other flights, snack and beverage service is temporarily suspended to limit personal contact.
  • Do not travel if you are sick or have COVID-19 symptoms. We never charge a fee to change* or cancel a flight**, and you can rebook your travel for a later date. More information below

Cleaning around the clock

  • Both an electrostatic disinfectant and an anti-microbial spray are applied on every surface of the aircraft, killing viruses on contact and forming an anti-microbial coating or shield for 30 days.
  • Sani-Cide EX3, a broad-spectrum disinfectant, will be used to clean commonly used areas (onboard lavatories, tray tables, armrests, seat belts, flight attendant call buttons, and overhead bin handles) before every flight. (Begins mid-May)
  • We also deep clean each plane from nose to tail for nearly 6-7 hours every night. (Began March 4)
  • We use HEPA air filters onboard our aircraft, which remove 99.97% of airborne particles—similar to technology found in hospitals.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available at the airport and wipes will be available onboard for Customers.
  • We’re cleaning the ticket counters, gates, and baggage claim areas multiple times a day.

Helping everyone keep their distance

  • Plexiglas® is being installed at ticketing and gate counters, and baggage service offices. (Complete by early May)
  • Boarding
    • Boarding in groups of 10 to allow for physical-distancing on only one side of the boarding poles.
    • Family boarding is not changing, but we will encourage families to respect the personal space of others during boarding.
  • We are limiting the number of people onboard each flight to provide Customers more personal space to spread out and there will be no need for the middle seat to be occupied. (Currently through June)
    • Customers can pick their seat—if you’re traveling together, you’re welcome to sit together.
    • Seats will not be blocked, but the first two to three and last two to three rows will be blocked, and we will not direct Customers where to sit.
  • Starting May 22, we will begin serving cans of water with straws, and a snack mix on flights over 250 miles. Cups and ice will be available upon request. For all other flights, snack and beverage service is suspended until further notice to limit close interactions.
  • We’re posting airport signage and floor markers to encourage physical-distancing in gate areas. (Starting early May)

Here’s where you come in

  • Face coverings are required at the airport and while traveling. Customers will be required to wear a face covering in order to board the plane beginning May 22. It is highly encouraged to bring your own hand sanitizer and face covering. If you forget your face covering at home, a mask will be available for you. For more information on our face covering policy, see our FAQ.
  • Download your mobile boarding pass prior to arrival to limit the amount of exchanges you make with others. We recommend using the Southwest® Airlines app. You can download the app here.
  • Arrive at the airport earlier to allow for new check-in and security processes.
  • Hand sanitizer is available at the check-in kiosks, ticket counters, and gates. Wipes will be available for Customers onboard.
  • Maintain physical spacing at the airport and onboard.
  • Starting May 22, we will begin serving cans of water with straws, and a snack mix on flights over 250 miles. For all other flights, snack and beverage service is suspended until further notice to limit close interactions.
  • Please stay home and do not fly if you feel sick or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. As always, you can change* or cancel** your flight without a fee.

Equipping Employees

  • Our Customer-facing Employees are required to wear masks or face coverings when in the presence of Customers.
  • We’re cleaning the ticket counters, gates, and baggage claim areas multiple times a day.

We’re onboard with the experts

We’re in contact with the following authorities and experts to align our policies and cleaning procedures with their guidance:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • World Health Organization
  • Government officials
  • Our own medical professionals and infectious disease experts that we’ve retained to advise us during this pandemic
* Fare difference may apply. ** Failure to cancel a reservation at least 10 minutes prior to scheduled departure may result in forfeited travel funds.

Southwest Vacation's Coronavirus Updates