(CNN) – The glimmers of a gradual return to air transportation mean that airlines are implementing new policies to protect passengers and crew from transmission of coronaviruses and to increase consumer confidence in the safety of air travel.
One day after the TSA marked its highest number of screened passengers in the United States since April 3, JetBlue Airways announced that it would require all passengers to wear face masks starting on May 4. Crew members were already required to wear masks.
The TSA figure – 128,875 passengers screened on Sunday – still represented only about 5% of the 2.5 million people screened on the same day in 2019, but it is nevertheless a slight increase and safety measures are a priority for anyone considering stealing.
As people in many corners of the world begin to move more freely, airlines are issuing policies that may evolve with the pandemic.
All carriers have plans to improve cleaning and sanitation.
Here is where some major carriers are located so far in terms of personal protective equipment and social distancing measures:
“We don’t require passengers to wear a mask, however, we strongly encourage travelers to follow the CDC’s guidelines for wearing a face covering when social distancing is difficult,” said Nicole Carrière, spokesperson for United. . “By providing the masks, we make it easier for them.”
The carrier also modified the in-flight service to minimize contact points and mainly turned to prepackaged food and sealed drinks.
United is also implementing boarding and seat allocation changes to promote social distancing until at least May 31.
A passenger prepares to embark on a flight from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on March 15.
John Moore / Getty Images North America
Delta Air Lines requires that all employees wear masks or masks when they are unable to meet the six-foot social distance rule, the airline said in a note to employees on Monday.
“We strongly encourage our customers to wear masks and we will make them available at counters, doors and planes on board,” said the note.
“American will not allocate 50% of the average seats in the main cabin or seats close to the flight attendant booster seats on each flight, and will only use these medium seats when necessary,” says the temporary carrier policy.
“Wearing a face covering is not about protecting yourself, it’s about protecting those around you,” said Joanna Geraghty, President and Chief Operating Officer of JetBlue, in a statement. “This is the new flight tag.”
JetBlue has also limited the number of seats available on most flights and regularly reviews the allocation of seats to maximize space between passengers.
Masks and other protective equipment common in Asia
Korean Air provides cabin crew with protective clothing, including goggles, masks and gloves.
All Korean Air passengers are required to wear masks, and the airline provides surgical masks and hand sanitizer at airports and on planes.
Some European carriers offer or require masks
Passengers must wear face masks when traveling with the Lufthansa Group from May 4. The group includes Lufthansa, Swiss and Austrian Airlines. Flight attendants will also have to wear masks, according to a press release from the Lufthansa group.
Lufthansa added that it will no longer be necessary to leave the intermediate seats vacant.
“Thanks to this new regulation, the middle seat which has so far been left vacant in Economy and Premium Economy class, will no longer remain a necessity, because the face covering offers the necessary protection,” said the press release.
“However, currently, due to a decrease in the demand for flights, the seats will be distributed as far as possible throughout the cabin.”
Air France indicates on its website that the majority of its flights are not complete, which allows social distancing.