airline passengers with masks
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Which Airlines Are Taking the Most COVID-19 Precautions?

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airline passengers with masks
Sandy Huffaker/Stringer/Getty Images News/Getty Images North America

Flyer Beware

The commercial airline industry has been among the hardest hit by COVID-19, because travelers have been hesitant to hop on a plane and risk infection. Among other concerns noted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, air travel requires not only time packed in security lines and airport terminals but on planes, where physical distancing can be challenging. With all this in mind, travel tech company Pilota recently launched FlySafe, a browser extension that shows travelers which safety precautions are being taken on flights. At Cheapism's request, the company ranked U.S. airlines on several key measures as of July 19, from worst to best. (There were several ties.)

Related: This U.S. Airline Has Cut 76% of Its Routes

Frontier Airlines
Philip Pilosian/shutterstock

5. Frontier Airlines

Frontier is the U.S. airline taking the fewest precautions.

Safety Measures:

  • Mask required
  • Physical distancing during check-in and boarding
  • Fewer touch points and interactions with gate staff during boarding
  • Surgical-grade HEPA air filtration
  • Cabin sanitization
  • Flexible change/cancellation policies

Related: 25 Annoying Airline Upcharges That Are Actually Worth It

Sun Country Airlines
©TripAdvisor

4. Sun Country Airlines (tie)

The airlines ranked fourth are also reducing touch points during food preparation and distribution.

Safety Measures:

  • Mask required
  • Physical distancing during check-in and boarding
  • Fewer touch points and interactions with gate staff during boarding
  • Surgical-grade HEPA air filtration
  • Cabin sanitization
  • Flexible change/cancellation policies
  • Food hygiene
Budget Airlines
Boarding1Now/istockphoto

4. Spirit Airlines (tie)

Safety Measures:

  • Mask required
  • Physical distancing during check-in and boarding
  • Fewer touch points and interactions with gate staff during boarding
  • Surgical-grade HEPA air filtration
  • Cabin sanitization
  • Flexible change/cancellation policies
  • Food hygiene

Related: Unbelievable Airline Incidents Through the Years

American Airlines
Chris Parypa Photography/shutterstock

4. American Airlines (tie)

Safety Measures:

  • Mask required
  • Physical distancing during check-in and boarding
  • Fewer touch points and interactions with gate staff during boarding
  • Surgical-grade HEPA air filtration
  • Cabin sanitization
  • Flexible change/cancellation policies
  • Food hygiene

Related: Major U.S. Airports With the Most Flights Canceled by COVID-19

Allegiant Air
Michael Rosebrock/shutterstock

3. Allegiant Air (tie)

The third-place airlines are providing personal protective equipment such as masks for passengers who don't bring their own.

Safety Measures:

  • Mask required
  • Physical distancing during check-in and boarding
  • Fewer touch points and interactions with gate staff during boarding
  • Surgical-grade HEPA air filtration
  • Cabin sanitization
  • Flexible change/cancellation policies
  • Food hygiene
  • PPE provided

Related: Which U.S. Airline Charges the Most Extra Fees?

United Airlines
EQRoy/shutterstock

3. United Airlines (tie)

Safety Measures:

  • Mask required
  • Physical distancing during check-in and boarding
  • Fewer touch points and interactions with gate staff during boarding
  • Surgical-grade HEPA air filtration
  • Cabin sanitization
  • Flexible change/cancellation policies
  • Food hygiene
  • PPE provided
Hawaiian Airlines
Chris Parypa Photography/shutterstock

2. Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian is not providing PPE but is capping flight capacity and blocking off seats to avoid overcrowding and increase the distance between passengers.

Safety Measures:

  • Mask required
  • Physical distancing during check-in and boarding
  • Fewer touch points and interactions with gate staff during boarding
  • Surgical-grade HEPA air filtration
  • Cabin sanitization
  • Flexible change/cancellation policies
  • Food hygiene
  • Capacity capping
  • Seat blocking

Related: The Best and Worst Airlines, According to Customer Complaints

Alaska Airlines
Chris Parypa Photography/shutterstock

1. Alaska Airlines (tie)

The top-ranked airlines are taking the most precautions to reduce the spread of coronavirus infection.

Safety Measures:

  • Mask required
  • Physical distancing during check-in and boarding
  • Fewer touch points and interactions with gate staff during boarding
  • Surgical-grade HEPA air filtration
  • Cabin sanitization
  • Flexible change/cancellation policies
  • Food hygiene
  • PPE provided
  • Capacity capping
  • Seat blocking
Delta Airlines
Chris Parypa Photography/shutterstock

1. Delta Air Lines (tie)

Safety Measures:

  • Mask required
  • Physical distancing during check-in and boarding
  • Fewer touch points and interactions with gate staff during boarding
  • Surgical-grade HEPA air filtration
  • Cabin sanitization
  • Flexible change/cancellation policies
  • Food hygiene
  • PPE provided
  • Capacity capping
  • Seat blocking

Related: 30 Air Travel Perks We Miss

JetBlue
tupungato/istockphoto

1. JetBlue Airways (tie)

Safety Measures:

  • Mask required
  • Physical distancing during check-in and boarding
  • Fewer touch points and interactions with gate staff during boarding
  • Surgical-grade HEPA air filtration
  • Cabin sanitization
  • Flexible change/cancellation policies
  • Food hygiene
  • PPE provided
  • Capacity capping
  • Seat blocking
Southwest Airlines
Chris Parypa Photography/shutterstock

1. Southwest Airlines (tie)

Safety Measures:

  • Mask required
  • Physical distancing during check-in and boarding
  • Fewer touch points and interactions with gate staff during boarding
  • Surgical-grade HEPA air filtration
  • Cabin sanitization
  • Flexible change/cancellation policies
  • Food hygiene
  • PPE provided
  • Capacity capping
  • Seat blocking

Related: 13 Airline Perks That Almost Make Flying Coach Tolerable