Flight Attendant: How Flying Has Changed Since COVID-19
2020 has been a challenging year for everyone and it is exceptionally difficult to predict as to what happens next. In fact, the beginning of this twelvemonth has had its fair share of unfortunate events in a remarkably short period of time.
Globally speaking, this sad state of affairs continues to affect us today – pertaining to the biggest disruption in our everyday life.
A lot has changed since the COVID-19 pandemic and to tell you the truth, the world was not equally prepared for the battle against the coronavirus. The least we can do is to wear masks; stay positive, take care of ourselves and social distancing.
Due to the outbreak, our daily life has changed dramatically including our workplace as we know it.
The struggle to find normalcy in the abnormal is real.
In my career as a flight attendant, I would have never expected the aviation & tourism as one of the hard-hit industries worldwide.
It has become particularly stressful for employees that are apprehensive about their careers - as many businesses can survive only so long and being possibly laid off is one of them.
Following a part of my A/L this year, I was still able to fly to cities in Asia and Australia around early March. During that time, overwhelming feelings of anxiety and fear of COVID-19 grew rapidly hence – it was not surprising that my flying schedule for the next month would be occupied with days off (or Gs) and on-call/standby shifts that were completely idle. Salary reductions too. The same story goes for the next three months until I was finally given a MNL turnaround flight.
Is it OK for flight attendants to keep working? Is it safe to travel again?
If not, why are we still flying?
I was excited to see the sky again, but the worries I had about the inflight health and safety related measures were just over the top. It is important that we respect new protocols when travelling and it is our responsibility to guide our passengers thoroughly. We must do our part and protect ourselves with gloves, masks, safety visors, etc. Inflight service standards have also been modified to minimize physical contact between cabin crew and passengers.
Furthermore, flight attendants may not be able to directly recognize passengers that are positive of the coronavirus once onboard. Someone who is ill or someone who later becomes unwell is beyond our control, and that makes it even more difficult to safeguard everyone’s well-being.
The safety of our colleagues and passengers will always remain a top priority and I am certain that every airline is constantly looking for ways to protect travellers during this time of uncertainty.
I am also well-informed that local and international flights nowadays are nothing like before. Flights have shifted from vacation to rescue flights, and bringing stranded residents back home similarly becomes a duty in the airline sector.
While we are not flying to full capacity, let’s not lose hope and fight this together.