Delta’s ‘Clean Ambassador’ Explains How He Ensures the Airline Follows COVID-19 Protocols

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If you ever wonder who ensures the planes are safe and clean as we face the pandemic, ask Jenero Burke.

The 53-year-old has chosen a career path that meets the moment and needs of passengers. He is a clean ambassador for Delta. And while he has served in various roles since joining Delta in 2008, he says his current role brings both rewards and challenges.

Burke was interviewed by Business Insider to explain what it’s like working with Delta’s Global Cleanliness organization, a division that launched in 2020 during the pandemic to oversee Delta’s commitment to health and wellness for its customers

”There are about 17 of us, and we serve as cleanliness champions among Delta airport teams to ensure a consistently safe and sanitized experience across Delta’s facilities and aircraft,” Burke said.

“We oversee a strict quality-assurance program, developed with input from Delta’s partners at Mayo Clinic, Emory University, and Reckitt, the makers of Lysol. This includes a regular audit of Delta’s cleaning processes and procedures with technology and tools such as ATP, adenosine triphosphate-testing devices that are used to swab surfaces in hospitals and restaurants and evaluate the effectiveness of cleaning processes by measuring actively growing microorganisms.”

“Operationalizing our Global Cleanliness organization with a team of in-airport clean coordinators is a significant step forward as we manage our ongoing cleanliness efforts across the system,” said Mike Medeiros, vice president, global cleanliness at Delta in a release. “This team will serve as dedicated eyes and ears at our airports, advising employees and partners, answering questions from customers and bringing a focus and a rigor to cleanliness that will give customers even more confidence in their choice to fly with Delta.”

Burke commutes via train to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport for his shift that starts at noon.

“While on the train, I check my email to determine what my day will look like. Depending on the day, I might oversee a cabin audit in Concourse A, conduct randomized cleanliness tests before planes depart, or do a lap around the airport to make sure everything is looking clean.

“In addition to my on-the-ground work, I facilitate new-hire training for cabin-cleaning agents and oversee inventory at warehouses to make sure cleaning materials are fully stocked and warehouses are practicing safety measures, in addition to my administrative work,” he told Business Insider.