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Passengers Choose Clean Cabins Over Cheap Flights

Passengers Choose Clean Cabins Over Cheap Flights

Step aside, ticket price. Cabin cleanliness is now the No. 1 reason U.S. travelers choose one airline over another, according to a new survey sponsored by Honeywell Aerospace.

Fifty-seven percent of U.S. survey participants said cleanliness and hygiene factor into their airline choice, compared to 50% who said price is the main determinant.

Of passengers who have taken a flight since March 2020, 46% said the cleanliness of their in-flight experience would make it more likely they would take another flight before June 2021.

The online survey of 3,336 people, which was conducted in the U.S. and U.K. in November, was conducted for Honeywell by YouGov PLC. It also covered travelers’ opinions on safety and cleanliness at airports and lodging options.

Airlines can use cleanliness to build brand loyalty

The survey reveals that airlines can capitalize on passengers’ emphasis on cleanliness and hygiene to attract customers and build brand loyalty that will carry through to the post-pandemic recovery, Honeywell Aerospace Global Marketing VP Bill Kircos said.

“It’s clear to us that passengers want to fly on airlines that follow World Health Organization guidelines, like requiring passengers to wear face masks, and do a good job cleaning cabins during and between flights,” Kircos said. “Many airlines have and can continue to enhance their experience in this area by using cutting-edge technologies like the Honeywell UV Treatment System to reduce viruses and bacteria on cabin surfaces.” 

The UV Treatment System is a portable cleaning device that addresses coronavirus concerns by treating an entire mid-sized airline cabin in less than ten minutes. Roughly the size of a beverage cart and with extendable wings, it applies the same UV light hospitals use to significantly reduce viruses and bacteria.

Honeywell technologies enable cleaner air travel

Airlines are also using other Honeywell technologies to provide passengers with a better travel experience. For example, the company’s fourth-generation Combined Hydrocarbon and Ozone Catalyst helps remove jet exhaust, smells from deicing fluid, and other outside contaminants from the air drawn into an aircraft’s environmental control system, or ECS. The system makes cabin air smell fresher and increases passenger comfort and confidence.

The ECS continuously controls cabin air temperature and humidity. With cabin air quality an airline priority, a new Honeywell Forge advanced data analytics tool called the ECS Performance Check is now available and can analyze data in real-time to make sure that the system is performing correctly.

Honeywell is also a leading provider of healthy building solutions that help operators improve the safety and efficiency of airport terminals, hotels, and other workspaces.

The company is also a leading provider of personal protection equipment, including N95 masks and face covers. Honeywell’s all-in-one Safety Packs contain masks, gloves, and cleaning wipes, and can be branded with an airline’s colors and logo.

“Passengers have made it clear that they value these things,” Kircos said. “They want to know that our industry cares about their wellness and experiences. Certainly, airlines that go above and beyond in this and other services will be better positioned as flight hours grow and further strengthen customer loyalty for the long term."