Airlounge employee

Boosting Traveler Confidence through Data-Driven Enhanced Infection Control

Published on : 7/13/20
  • As the airline industry turns from crisis management to newly defined “normal” business operations, safety and health are paramount. The simple act of cleaning is no longer enough to safeguard passengers and staff – disinfecting on a microbial level has become the new standard in the airport lounge.

    Sodexo’s lounge teams rose to this challenge by leveraging the company’s global expertise in healthcare facilities management. “We saw these changes coming back in January and immediately kicked off a campaign to ensure that our global airline lounge teams were trained on a healthcare-based disinfection program,” says Arica Booker, Senior Manager, Facilities Management for Airline Lounges in North America. Booker’s team adapted standard operating procedures and best practices from the healthcare segment and cross-trained every frontline staff member in their use.

    “Now, as in the past, health and safety are our #1 priority. But where, in the past, our facilities management teams held primary responsibility for maintaining a clean and sanitary lounge, now everyone contributes by implementing enhanced disinfection and safety protocols throughout the lounge.”

    While handwashing and proper use of personal protective equipment remain essential, the standard operating procedures cover everything from specialty cleaning products to advanced UV light systems. For Booker, the key to enhanced infection control is data-driven operations. “In addition to providing access to standard operation procedures and templates for training, inspections, and more, our site management system enables operational excellence through right-sizing and right-scaling operations.” Internet of Things (IoT) sensors track facility usage and allow managers to direct resources where and when they are needed. The system can also communicate the disinfection status of facilities to clients and guests to enhance their peace of mind.

    In the end, Booker stresses, the move to enhanced infection control is less about reacting to the COVID-19 crisis and more about creating the next normal.

    “Sodexo has always embedded safety and operational excellence seamlessly into the experiences of comfort and luxury in our clients’ lounges; now, as we adapt new standards and procedures, it is increasingly important to communicate that value with our clients, guests and colleagues.”

    Sodexo recently entered into a partnership with Bureau Veritas, a global leader in risk reduction through health and safety testing and certification. The Rise Safe certification program –including world-class assessment, training and follow-on monitoring – increases guest confidence and adds to brand reputation for our clients.

    In addition, Sodexo recently formed a Medical Advisory Council to provide technical guidance and validation of the new protocols and standards it is deploying for COVID-19 response worldwide. Operating as a governance body, the Council is comprised of experts from around the world in epidemiology, family medicine, nutrition, occupational and behavioral health, as well as pandemic planning and operations. Health and safety are an absolute priority in Sodexo’s mission to improve quality of life for everyone we serve and employ.

    For more insight and information about how Sodexo is helping its global airline lounge clients adjust to this new normal, learn about our Rise with Sodexo program, offering of best-in-class practices created by a team of experts and standard operating procedures for enhanced infection control adapted from our global expertise in healthcare facility management and our experience from around the world.

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    Our full insights into reopening airport lounges in the COVID-19 environment can be found here:



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