How COVID-19 will change plane food, passenger seats forever

COVID-19 has been the biggest crisis in the history of global aviation and it is bound to leave an indelible mark on the battered industry.

In much the same way as airport security changed after 9/11, the pandemic will certainly change the way airlines operate and how passengers think about flying.

And all aspects of air travel could be forever changed as a result, from airport procedures to on-board meals and even the design of our plane seats.

“Undoubtedly the future of flying has changed,” Etihad Airways vice president of Guest Services, Linda Celestino, told news.com.au.

RELATED: Follow the latest coronavirus updates

“Even when passenger loads and flights do return to their former capacity, it’s set to look very different to what travellers are used to.

“At Etihad we have begun to see the reactive ways in which we’ve adapted to the pandemic as the new normal, where health and hygiene play a bigger role in the travel experience.”

Etihad has resumed many of its international flights with significant changes to keep passengers and crew safe and reassured in the tail end of the pandemic.

Flying is unlikely to be the same again after COVID-19. Picture: AFP / Mark RalstonSource:AFP

They include mandatory COVID-19 tests before boarding, changes to how food and drinks are served in lounges and on aircraft, and social distancing while boarding and disembarking, as well as personal protective equipment for crew and an updated plane cleaning schedule.

Etihad has also introduced wellness ambassadors as part of a new health and hygiene initiative — dedicated in-flight crew members who are specially trained to answer questions and support to passengers during COVID-19.

“We’ve already had a great response from passengers to this initiative, and we look forward to building on our wellness program over the coming months,” Ms Celestino said.

“Our wellness ambassadors are available 24/7, so guests can get in touch with questions at any time in the lead-up to their journey. On-board, wellness ambassadors complement the roles of our cabin crew members to provide an enhanced level of customer care, with a strong focus on health and wellness.”

Etihad has made changes to all aspects of the flying experience.Source:Supplied

The pandemic has also forced airlines rethink their booking policies — Etihad now offers complimentary COVID-19 insurance with flight tickets, and more flexibility for customers who have to cancel travel plans.

“The road to recovery will be centred on rebuilding trust and confidence in international travel,” Ms Celestino said.

“Across the global industry, processes and regulations are still being defined but, at Etihad we

are doing everything we can to protect our guests and help them feel safe, at ease, and have

peace of mind.”

WHAT OTHER WAYS COULD FLYING CHANGE?

FOOD AND DRINK

One of the most notable on-board changes during the COVID age has been the provision of food and drink.

Qantas and Virgin Australia have suspended in-flight meals and drinks and offer just bottles of water and snack packets, and it’s a trend seen around the world.

Meanwhile in business and first class, freshly plated food have been replaced by pre-packaged meals.

As concerns around hygiene linger, food and drink is likely to remain different for some time.

Is this what flying in economy could look like post-pandemic?Source:Supplied

SEATS

Design companies have been busy working on new plane seats that could eliminate the risk of virus transmission between passengers.

Designs include plastic screens to shield passengers’ faces, and middle seats that face the

opposite direction.

AIRFARES

The global aviation industry has haemorrhaging billions of dollars due to the unprecedented downturn in travel caused by COVID-19.

And we could be paying for that for years.

The huge cost of operating international flights, along with lower passenger numbers, mean airfares are likely to spike.

But there could be good news for budget travellers, Virgin Australia chief executive Paul Scurrah said at a business summit on Thursday.

“There’s a number of restrictions on operating airlines today, that really cap the amount of people you can take in the plane, so it changes the economics completely of having to operate the plane. Some of them are underwritten by the government but there are still some pretty big airfares,” Mr Scurrah said.

“When the skies do open up again there’s going to be a need to stimulate demand and you will see some competitive airfares when it is safe to travel.”

There is industry speculation COVID-19 has killed off first class.Source:Supplied

NO MORE FIRST CLASS

There has been talk that COVID-19 will sound the death knell for international flight class, which was already falling out of favour with flyers before the pandemic struck.

Qantas, Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa are among the airlines to have put a pause on first class services, not only because the virus has impacted the provision of drinks and hot meals, but because many of the aircraft with first class cabins, such as Qantas’ A380s, have been mothballed for the foreseeable future.

PRE-FLIGHT TESTING

COVID-19 tests are mandatory for all Etihad and Emirates passengers before their flights, and it could be the key to unlocking international air travel even more.

Earlier this month Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said rapid pre-flight tests that could deliver results within 15 minutes could be the key to restarting overseas travel sooner than a vaccine arrived.

The tests could determine “whether you’re exposed to COVID-19, which means if you pass there’s no need to be in quarantine at the other end,” Mr Joyce said.

“Then you could see (travel) bubbles opening up one by one,” he said.

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Source: Read Full Article

How COVID-19 will change plane food, passenger seats forever

COVID-19 has been the biggest crisis in the history of global aviation and it is bound to leave an indelible mark on the battered industry.

In much the same way as airport security changed after 9/11, the pandemic will certainly change the way airlines operate and how passengers think about flying.

And all aspects of air travel could be forever changed as a result, from airport procedures to on-board meals and even the design of our plane seats.

“Undoubtedly the future of flying has changed,” Etihad Airways vice president of Guest Services, Linda Celestino, told news.com.au.

RELATED: Follow the latest coronavirus updates

“Even when passenger loads and flights do return to their former capacity, it’s set to look very different to what travellers are used to.

“At Etihad we have begun to see the reactive ways in which we’ve adapted to the pandemic as the new normal, where health and hygiene play a bigger role in the travel experience.”

Etihad has resumed many of its international flights with significant changes to keep passengers and crew safe and reassured in the tail end of the pandemic.

Flying is unlikely to be the same again after COVID-19. Picture: AFP / Mark RalstonSource:AFP

They include mandatory COVID-19 tests before boarding, changes to how food and drinks are served in lounges and on aircraft, and social distancing while boarding and disembarking, as well as personal protective equipment for crew and an updated plane cleaning schedule.

Etihad has also introduced wellness ambassadors as part of a new health and hygiene initiative — dedicated in-flight crew members who are specially trained to answer questions and support to passengers during COVID-19.

“We’ve already had a great response from passengers to this initiative, and we look forward to building on our wellness program over the coming months,” Ms Celestino said.

“Our wellness ambassadors are available 24/7, so guests can get in touch with questions at any time in the lead-up to their journey. On-board, wellness ambassadors complement the roles of our cabin crew members to provide an enhanced level of customer care, with a strong focus on health and wellness.”

Etihad has made changes to all aspects of the flying experience.Source:Supplied

The pandemic has also forced airlines rethink their booking policies — Etihad now offers complimentary COVID-19 insurance with flight tickets, and more flexibility for customers who have to cancel travel plans.

“The road to recovery will be centred on rebuilding trust and confidence in international travel,” Ms Celestino said.

“Across the global industry, processes and regulations are still being defined but, at Etihad we

are doing everything we can to protect our guests and help them feel safe, at ease, and have

peace of mind.”

WHAT OTHER WAYS COULD FLYING CHANGE?

FOOD AND DRINK

One of the most notable on-board changes during the COVID age has been the provision of food and drink.

Qantas and Virgin Australia have suspended in-flight meals and drinks and offer just bottles of water and snack packets, and it’s a trend seen around the world.

Meanwhile in business and first class, freshly plated food have been replaced by pre-packaged meals.

As concerns around hygiene linger, food and drink is likely to remain different for some time.

Is this what flying in economy could look like post-pandemic?Source:Supplied

SEATS

Design companies have been busy working on new plane seats that could eliminate the risk of virus transmission between passengers.

Designs include plastic screens to shield passengers’ faces, and middle seats that face the

opposite direction.

AIRFARES

The global aviation industry has haemorrhaging billions of dollars due to the unprecedented downturn in travel caused by COVID-19.

And we could be paying for that for years.

The huge cost of operating international flights, along with lower passenger numbers, mean airfares are likely to spike.

But there could be good news for budget travellers, Virgin Australia chief executive Paul Scurrah said at a business summit on Thursday.

“There’s a number of restrictions on operating airlines today, that really cap the amount of people you can take in the plane, so it changes the economics completely of having to operate the plane. Some of them are underwritten by the government but there are still some pretty big airfares,” Mr Scurrah said.

“When the skies do open up again there’s going to be a need to stimulate demand and you will see some competitive airfares when it is safe to travel.”

There is industry speculation COVID-19 has killed off first class.Source:Supplied

NO MORE FIRST CLASS

There has been talk that COVID-19 will sound the death knell for international flight class, which was already falling out of favour with flyers before the pandemic struck.

Qantas, Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa are among the airlines to have put a pause on first class services, not only because the virus has impacted the provision of drinks and hot meals, but because many of the aircraft with first class cabins, such as Qantas’ A380s, have been mothballed for the foreseeable future.

PRE-FLIGHT TESTING

COVID-19 tests are mandatory for all Etihad and Emirates passengers before their flights, and it could be the key to unlocking international air travel even more.

Earlier this month Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said rapid pre-flight tests that could deliver results within 15 minutes could be the key to restarting overseas travel sooner than a vaccine arrived.

The tests could determine “whether you’re exposed to COVID-19, which means if you pass there’s no need to be in quarantine at the other end,” Mr Joyce said.

“Then you could see (travel) bubbles opening up one by one,” he said.

trending in travel


Source: Read Full Article