Aeroflot Passengers Must Change Masks Every 3 Hours

Aeroflot has today revealed a wealth of new health and safety-focused policies for passengers traveling in the post-COVID era. Masks and gloves will become mandatory, with passengers required to change masks every three hours.

Aeroflot Airbus A350
Aeroflot has implemented a new compulsory face mask policy. Photo: Getty Images

Airlines around the world are introducing mask-wearing policies in the wake of the current crisis that has brought the industry to its knees. The procedures follow IATA guidelines stating that masks are preferable to social distancing. Indeed, Lufthansa was one of the first to scrap social distancing and replace it with masks. However, now Aeroflot has added its mask policy, which seems much stricter than others announced so far.

Aeroflot’s new policy

Aeroflot has introduced a wealth of new policies designed with a health and safety theme in the wake of the corona-crisis. These have been issued per regulations issued by Russia’s Chief Sanitary Physician, alongside guidelines from the Federal Air Transport Agency.

Arguably the central policy being implemented by the airline is the wearing of PPE. Unlike most carriers with similar plans, Aeroflot is mandating that passengers wear both masks and gloves onboard its flights. Some United Kingdom airports are also mandating gloves.

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Passengers will be asked to change their face masks every three hours. Photo: Getty Images

However, the airline goes one step further, mandating that masks will need to be replaced every three hours, with staff carrying extra masks if required. The airline hasn’t revealed how this policy will be policed. Perhaps the captain will announce that its time to change masks three hours into a flight.

Additionally, the inflight meal service will be altered. All food and drinks will be served individually wrapped. Passengers are allowed to bring their own refreshments. However, they must be in unopened sealed packaging.

Some stricter policies

Aeroflot has also implemented some stricter policies than other carriers have to date. For example, passengers must keep their seatbelts fastened for the entire flight and are only allowed to stand up to use the toilets.

Aeroflot, On Time Performance, 2019
The Russian carrier will also make passengers remain seated throughout their flight. Photo: Getty Images

Additionally, all passengers must place their outerwear in the overhead containers. Aeroflot has prohibited passengers from accessing these during the flights without permission from the cabin crew ‘unless there is a justified reason to do so.’ The airline hasn’t elaborated on what may qualify as a justified reason.

On the ground

On the ground, Aeroflot is asking that passengers maintain social distancing when boarding and deplaning. However, unlike LOT Polish Airlines, the airline hasn’t said that social distancing would be observed on the flight. Social distancing is not preferable on flights, as the risk of transmission is low, and airlines would need to hike prices to make up for the lost revenue from unsold seats.

Every passenger will be offered a hand sanitizer before boarding the flight, and Aeroflot will be taking a temperature measurement from each passenger. Passengers with a temperature above 37 degrees Celsius will be denied boarding.

What do you make of Aeroflot’s new onboard safety measures? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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