The new “normal” for flying

By | Category: Travel news

The last few days have seen a flurry of rules and some ideas of what future air travel might be like.

An American Airlines plane in its old livery but it has new plans for passengers to follow.

Leaving the middle seat free has probably gone by the board and many in aviation believe the idea has no merit economically or medically.

But masks, temperature checks and distancing do remain wherever possible.

Manchester, East Midlands and Stansted airports will insist on airline passengers wearing masks on entry to the airport. Initially the airports (all controlled by the Manchester Airport Group) will provide masks but passengers will be expected to provide their own at some point. Heathrow is already trialling temperature tests but this idea has received criticism from those who say that a person can still contagious without running a temperature.

Four big American airlines, Delta, United, Southwest and American have said that all passengers must wear facemasks and Wizz – which has just introduced additional flights from Luton Airport – says that there is a “pen-up demand” from younger age groups to fly again. But then an airline would say that wouldn’t they?

But Wizz has also told us what it will do All passengers will have hand sanitiser available to them, no food will be served of flights, there are no in-flight magazines and all aircraft are to be deep-cleaned every night. In addition some seats will be left vacant.

Air Canada introduces its CleanCare+ policy net week which involves temperature testing for all passengers, no two passengers will sit next to each other (at least up until June 30th) and masks must be worn. Only ore-packaged food and bottled drinks will be available and the airline lists a number of specific sanitising routines. Passengers will also be given complementary hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes.

There is also a Canadian government, mandatory health survey to complete.

Other airlines like American and Cebu Pacific (a Filipino airline) have similar measures in place by BA, easyJet have yet to tell passengers what procedures they will adopt. We already know that Ryanair won’t keep middle seat free but easyJet says it will.

Airlines will develop all sorts of procedures in the next few weeks to try and convince us that it is safe to fly and safe to fly with them.

They seem confident that things will return to the old “normal” and investors seem to think the same if the fact that twenty different bids have reportedly been made to buy out Virgin Australia from the administrators.

Probably all airlines will encourage you to check in online and to use contactless or cards when paying for any items on board so that any contact between crew and passengers is minimised.

But will any airline go as far as the Vietnamese airline, Vietjet did and offer free coronavirus insurance to passengers on domestic flights so confident that they were that you wouldn’t catch the virus on the planes.

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