Southwest Airlines will not be providing snack and drink service on their flights starting today until further notice. The company released a statement explaining that the decision was made for the safety of customers during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement released by the company on March 24, the reasoning for suspending in-flight snack and beverage services was made clear:
The well-being of customers and employees is the uncompromising priority on board every Southwest flight. Therefore, in accordance with health officials’ recommendations to limit close public interactions during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Southwest is temporarily suspending all in-flight beverage and snack service from Wednesday, March 25, 2020 until further notice. Our desire to continue providing Southwest Hospitality is as strong as ever, and the entire Southwest Team truly appreciates our Customers’ understanding of the difficult decisions we must make during these unprecedented times.
Along with pausing food and drink on board, the airline company is being extra vigilant about their cleaning procedures and is being flexible with customers who may be canceling trips. Southwest Airlines says they are now spending six hours a night cleaning their aircrafts and use hospital-grade disinfectants in the cabin, on the flight deck, and in lavatories. Southwest also does not charge any cancellation fees and has a policy that allows tickets that are properly cancelled to be used toward future travels.
The airline company has emphasized that they are keeping up-to-date with the CDC and World Health Organization’s announcements, and pausing food and beverage service on board flights is in line with those safety recommendations.