We know how important it is to spend the holiday season with the ones you love. Amid COVID spikes, flying might not seem like the safest option. That is why we have found the safest airlines and airports, so if you must fly this season you can can feel a little better. According to the Safe Travel Barometer—which judges various airlines and airports around the world for COVID safety protocols and cleanliness—these are the safest airlines and airports this holiday season.
Top Airlines for Safe Travel
Coming in at number one with a safe travel score of 4.1, Delta is leading by example. They disinfect their planes after every flight using electronic sprayers and provide face masks and hand sanitizer to each passenger. Add in HEPA air filters and keeping middle seats open through January 6th, 2021 it is obvious why Delta beat out the others in COVID safety measures.
2. Southwest Airlines
Southwest scored a 4 out of 5, which is still pretty amazing for a low-cost airline and is still few among others worldwide to do so. They also disinfect after every flight and provides face masks, and have committed to limiting capacity through November 30th.
3. Alaska Airlines
Unlike the two above, Alaska doesn't provide passengers with face masks, so you'll have to BYOM (Bring Your Own Mask) when flying with them. However, introducing touch-free options aboard flights, including pre-ordering meals earned them a score of 3.9.
4. United Airlines
United Airlines also has a safe travel score of 3.9. Among a number of health and safety protocols they have adopted, United also recently introduced a chat function via text to help answer customers questions and concerns.
Budget airline Allegiant Air earned a 3.8 and was one of the first airlines to give free health and safety kits to passengers. Not bad for budget!
Top Airports for Safe Travel
1. John F. Kennedy International Airport
Tied for first, with a Safe Travel Score of 4.3 out of 5, JFK checks a majority of the most important boxes on the Safe Travel Barometer. Besides featuring COVID-19 testing availability on-site, you can expect contactless bag drops and check-in, as well as vacant adjacent seating wherever possible.
2. Newark Liberty International Airport
Newark Liberty offers almost all of the same COVID-friendly safety measures that JFK and Boston do, including frequent disinfecting of high-touch surfaces, which is why it is also rated 4.3.
3. Boston-Logan International Airport
The third airport that rated the highest was Logan, and it came as no surprise to us. Their new COVID testing facility is said to open next week. Score one for the East Coast!
4. Philadelphia International Airport
Coming in right after the top three is Philadelphia with a safe travel score of 4.2. Expect the same attention to detail as the airports above, including disinfecting boarding gate areas after every boarding and contactless interactions such as bag drops and check-ins.
5. Los Angeles International Airport
The West Coast also makes the list with a few airports including LAX. Expect RT-PCR tests and extra cleaning of high-touch surfaces (think elevator buttons, kiosk touch screens, drinking fountains, and seating areas).
6. San Francisco International Airport
Also with a safe travel score of 4.2, SFO stepped up its COVID safety game by offering testing as well as thermal screening for travelers and staff which will help to limit the spread of COVID.