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United Airlines Starts Maximized Ventilation to Reduce COVID-19 Spread

United Airlines Starts Maximized Ventilation to Reduce COVID-19 Spread
Joe Cortez

United Airlines is trying a new technique to keep passengers safe and reduce the spread of the novel Coronavirus. Starting now, the airline will maximize air flow volume for the in-aircraft HEPA filter system during the boarding and deplanement.

To encourage flyers to once again board their aircraft, United Airlines is trying a new tactic to help stop the spread of the novel Coronavirus. In the press release, the airline announced they would maximize air flow volume on airplanes during the boarding and deplaning process, with full implementation expected by July 27, 2020.

United Says Constant Circulation Refreshes Air Every Three Minutes

Under the new plan, United will run their air ventilation system at maximum power on all mainline aircraft with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration systems throughout the boarding and disembarking processes. According to a United video, running their air systems at the maximum rate could refresh the air within the cabin up to every three minutes, removing 99.97 percent of air particles.

As a result, the airline says that the in-cabin air quality would be “significantly cleaner” than without the ventilation process. In particular, United claims that air quality on their aircraft could be cleaner than “restaurants, grocery stores, schools or even some hospitals.”

“We know the environment on an aircraft is safe and because the air flow is designed to minimize the transmission of disease, the earlier we maximize air flow over our HEPA filtration system, the better for our crew and our customers,” Scott Kirby, CEO of United, said in a press release. “The quality of the air, combined with a strict mask policy and regularly disinfected surfaces, are the building blocks towards preventing the spread of COVID-19 on an airplane.”

Other partners suggest maximizing and maintaining airflow through HEPA-certified filters could be the key to preventing the spread of COVID-19 aboard aircraft. Earlier in 2020, technology company Teague designed and proposed using an “air shield” concept to help protect travelers from catching the novel Coronavirus from cabin air contact.

Airline Continues to Book to Capacity

The airflow maximization plan, alongside mandatory mask requirements, are all part of United’s approach to keeping customers safe and preventing the spread of COVID-19. However, the airline continues to book aircraft to capacity, making the middle seat available to flyers despite social distancing recommendations.

Although mandatory face mask usage is one of the primary measures flyers want while traveling, some are still uncomfortable with middle seat bookings. A Consumer Reports petition called on the federal government to make open middle seats mandatory for all airlines, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

View Comments (7)


  1. macssam

    July 21, 2020 at 4:45 am

    only No ventilation would reduce spread of anything
    the lies are so ridicules
    MSM has no shame

  2. DMIND00

    July 21, 2020 at 10:20 am

    Agreed. The airports need to take the temperatures of all people entering the airport to keep those who may be ill out. Leaving up to people to be honest about b being healthy is wrong. The airlines still do not get it. As it has been said if the persons next to you sneezes or coughs it goes to you before being filtered in the system. That’s a fact. The airlines have gotten a free ride during this time while other businesses have had requirements placed on them. I do not know why the government does not place requirements on the airlines in the planes. Until this happens they are not going to get the travelers back. SOCIAL DISTANCING MIN 6 FEET. PLEASE. Be a responsible caring Buisiness. Maybe had you done this you would have had more people flying fewer per plane but more and less people getting sick and spreading it to other places. This is how it came to the USA in the First place the AIRLINES.

  3. rally66

    July 21, 2020 at 5:02 pm

    Every airline stresses that their aircraft have HEPA filters and continuous air exchange. But I have not seen one airline state if they have increased the frequency with which they change the filters!!!!

  4. wxman22

    July 21, 2020 at 6:53 pm

    Thanks United. It is clear that being in well ventilated areas significantly reduces the transmission of Covid-19.

  5. kkua

    July 21, 2020 at 7:48 pm

    Still an abysmal record compared to Delta. They fog spray the plane before every flight.

  6. pony_trekker

    July 22, 2020 at 7:17 am

    DMIND00 ^^ with probably the best post since this whole thing started!!!

  7. Sabai

    July 22, 2020 at 9:44 am

    Do HEPA filters (specially those on aircraft) remove virus particles?

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