A Flight Attendant’s Perspective: Flying During A Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic is changing the way we travel, and more and more passengers are finally acknowledging the role of flight attendants as “essential critical infrastructure workers”.
Cabin crew members have been on the front line prior to the global pandemic and with the new safety measures in order, working onboard an aircraft has become further challenging and difficult.
Flying will never be the same— at least for now.
By this time, we are well informed that air travel has shifted dramatically over the past few months and if one decides to fly, they should be disciplined about taking every safety precautions in their course of travel. This includes wearing face masks, cleaning hands with sanitizers, and maintaining social distance to protect themselves from the probability of inflight transmission.
Here are four facts you need to know about travelling during a pandemic:
1. Plan Ahead & Prepare
Travelling during these challenging times can be incredibly stressful therefore it is important to plan accordingly and proceed with caution. If you are flying to a high-risk country or leaving from there, follow COVID-19 safety protocols because your safety isn’t guaranteed without a vaccine.
Give yourself enough time for check-in, temperature checks, and boarding. Moving with urgent haste will not be ideal as it could divert passengers from adhering to social distancing guidelines.
2. Don Your Face Mask Correctly
To keep passengers safe, airlines are strengthening face mask regulations, including the requirement that every person onboard wear a mask. Please remember, however, the difference between donning a face mask and wearing it correctly. For instance, if your face mask is below your nose or if you are touching it everywhere before sanitizing your hands, you are already contaminating yourself from a possible infection. Ensure that it is covering your nose and mouth, and that it should only be taken off while drinking or eating.
It is also vital to bring several masks with you so that you can change it when necessary.
3. Practice Proper Hygiene
Airlines are doing their absolute best to protect frontline employees and air passengers from exposure to bacteria and viruses. Aircraft cleaning and disinfecting procedures are enhanced, antiseptic wipes are also provided to passengers if needed.
Never be complacent about the current measures; you should still bring your own pack of sanitizing wipes to disinfect the tray tables, arm rests and seat covers in the cabin. Disinfecting any solid surface that you will come into contact with is always a good idea.
4. Ask Help The Right Way
Given the reason that inflight services have been modified for health and safety purposes, it is appreciative that passengers be patient with flight attendants when attending to their needs. There is a designated time for service delivery as well as collection therefore during meal service, be respectful and don’t expect cabin crew members to collect used wipes or personal food waste rapidly as it will only enlarge touchpoints. Be considerate and please make it safe for everyone in the cabin.