United Introduces New High-tech Cleaner for Cabin Disinfection — See It in Action

Introducing the NovaRover.

United Airlines is adding a long-lasting, high-tech, antimicrobial spray to its anti-COVID cabin cleaning measures.

The NovaRover will now roll through United airplane cabins and spray a mist of the EPA-registered Zoono Microbe Shield antimicrobial across all surfaces, the airline announced on Wednesday.

“This long-lasting, antimicrobial spray adds an extra level of protection on our aircraft to help better protect our employees and customers,” United’s Chief Customer Officer, Toby Enqvist, said in a statement. “As part of our layered approach to safety, antimicrobials are an effective complement to our hospital-grade HEPA air filtration system, mandatory mask policy for customers, and daily electrostatic spraying. We’ve overhauled our policies and procedures and continue to implement new, innovative solutions that deliver a safer onboard experience.”

Spray from the NovaRover covers a 12-foot radius, eliminating potential human error in disinfection. The Zoono Microbe Shield works by forming a bond with surfaces that lasts about seven days, creating a “bed of microscopic pins that break microbes when they come in contact with it,” the airline said in a press release. The spray is classified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a Category IV chemical, which is the lowest level of toxicity.

NovaRover on United plane
Courtesy of United Airlines

In addition to the deep cleanings, a United employee will also be hand-spraying disinfectant around the airplane cabin before every flight.

United is using the Zoono Microbe Shield on aircraft at Chicago O’Hare and plans to expand the product to all its other U.S. airports within the coming months. The NovaRover will be used at 10 airports, including Boston, Chicago O’Hare, Cleveland, Denver, Houston Intercontinental, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Newark, San Francisco, and Washington-Dulles.

NovaRover on United plane
Courtesy of United Airlines

United is not the only airline to introduce a high-tech approach to coronavirus cleaning procedures. American Airlines also debuted a new electrostatic sprayer in August, which is used in addition to nightly cleanings.

Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. When in a new city, she's usually out to discover under-the-radar art, culture, and secondhand stores. No matter her location, you can find her on Twitter, on Instagram, or at caileyrizzo.com.

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