COVID-19 has pushed back everyone's plans and crossed things off our calendars, but as people adjust to this new way of living, the prospect of travel has once again taken off.
United Airlines was operating 16 flights out of Tulsa in February. In August, United will offer roughly half of its normal number of flights.
"It behooves us because that's our livelihood [...]. We've got to have the customers flying with us, so we do what we have to do,” said Keith Burnight, United Airlines General Manager.
Keith said people need a vacation from 2020, and they are willing to make that possible.
If a flight reaches 70% capacity, passengers are notified and given alternative options.
"We give them the option to opt out and take a later flight at no charge […] and to this date, we've had maybe one or two who have chosen to do that," Keith said.
Rest assured, the airline said extra health precautions have been put in place. Those include social distancing and limited ticket counter space, touchless kiosks, electrostatic spraying every aircraft at every turn, mask requirements and using HEPA filters to filter the air inflight.
"It is as good or better than what you find in hospitals […]," said Keith. "I truly believe that flying on an airplane is just as it was before."
Tulsa International Airport's four other major airline carriers–Delta, Allegiant, Southwest, and American–are also cleaning around the clock, requiring face masks and providing state of the art air filtration.
Keith said these planes are cleaner now than before the COVID-19 outbreak.