Never mind free breakfast: Hotels now boosting COVID-cleaned air for nervous travelers

While free WiFi or a continental breakfast used to be enough to snag customers, hotels are employing a new amenity to attract pandemic bookings: purified air. 

According to The New York Times, “virus scrubbed air” is the new must-have feature for hotels hurting for people to stay there. 

Many hotels, stores, and other public places have aggressively attacked their surfaces to kill the virus — using sprays, UV lights, and even drones. However, since COVID-19 is primarily spread by breathing it in, that requires a whole new battle plan.

The newspaper notes that hotels like the Hotel Paso del Norte in El Paso, have begun aggressively touting their air-cleaning efforts amid the pandemic. 

For its part, that historic hotel’s website features a “splash” message on its home page that notes, “Hotel Paso del Norte has implemented the Plasma Air Bipolar Ionization System into the building. The system purifies the air within the hotel, neutralizing all indoor air contaminants.” 

The hotel touts it is “one of the first hotels in the country…to invest in this groundbreaking system.”

But it’s not alone, the Times notes, with other hotels now investing in hospital-grade air filtration systems to trap the novel coronavirus, as well as others.

HVAC companies are becoming full-bore virus fighters, with some consulting Dr. Philip M. Tierno Jr., a professor of microbiology and pathology at New York University School of Medicine. He tells the publication, “HVAC systems are of great significance in reducing the amount of airborne particles since this virus can be spread in an airborne fashion.”

Fresh-air ventilation dilutes the virus, and other vent systems, like the Hotel Paso’s, employ filters with charged ion particles to zap and damage the virus’ structure.