Is your hotel room really as clean as they say? There’s a new way to find out

The American Automobile Association plans to inspect the surfaces at hotels to verify if they have been sanitized.
The American Automobile Association plans to inspect the surfaces at hotels to verify if they have been sanitized. (Photo courtesy of AAA)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – You’ve seen hotels detailing their extra cleaning procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic. But now that travel is picking up, can you trust that the room you’ll be staying in is really as sanitary as they say?

The American Automobile Association plans to be the judge.

AAA says it does anonymous inspections at over 26,000 North American hotels each year and will now be testing “sanitation levels of high-touch surfaces” as part of that process.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on travelers’ expectations for cleanliness,” AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said. “Travelers trust AAA for recommendations that focus on their safety and security. The Inspected Clean enhancement to our Diamond Program will help give them extra peace of mind and rebuild their confidence in traveling.”

The new testing, scheduled to begin later this month, will include inspectors swabbing surfaces including door handles, light switches, thermostat controls, guest room desk or writing surfaces, TV remotes, refrigerator handles, faucet and toilet handles, hairdryers and vanity surfaces.

AAA says their process will not detect specific viruses such as the coronavirus, but can tell if a surface has been properly cleaned by searching for adenosine triphosphate, a molecule found in food, skin cells, bacteria, yeast, mold and respiratory droplets.

If you’re going on a trip starting this fall, you’ll be able to search for inspected hotels at AAA.com/Diamonds.

With COVID-19 vaccines taking hold, travel to and from South Florida began to return to normal over the Memorial Day holiday weekend.


About the Author: