As Emirates plans to resume scheduled flights, it is taking a number of steps to protect passengers and staff. These measures will begin at check-in and continue after touch down, to increase hygiene and reduce contact. So what should travelers expect on their next Emirates flight? Let’s find out.
New safety measures being introduced
Travelers can expect a number of new measures for the foreseeable future. Emirates has shut its airport lounges, discontinued its chauffeur service, and suspended online check-in. Passengers will have to check-in at the airport, where glass shields have been installed to reduce contact.
At check-in, passengers will receive complimentary hygiene kits, which comes with masks, gloves, antibacterial wipes, and a bottle of sanitizer. Dubai Airport requires all passengers to have gloves and masks, while onboard, only a mask is mandatory.
Everyone traveling can also expect temperature screenings at the airport and before boarding. Finally, social distancing will be enforced at the airport. Emirates has said it will try to follow social distancing onboard but cannot guarantee you will get an empty seat next to you.
Back in April, Emirates began offering rapid blood tests prior to its flights as a way to ensure passenger safety. However, the airline recently discontinued the tests due to accuracy concerns. While blood tests are a fool-proof method to protect those traveling, currently, these tests take around eight hours to complete.
Onboard service revised
Emirates has a reputation for its extensive onboard offerings in all classes. However, in the coronavirus-era, passengers will have to settle for safety over comfort. Passengers will board in small groups from the back to the front, as a way to reduce contact, guided by the PPE-clad cabin crew. The airline is also adding another crew member on flights longer than 1.5 hours to ensure that lavatories remain sanitized throughout the flight.
Passengers will be unable to carry any bags on board, with only essentials such as laptops or handbags to be allowed. Along with this, all reading materials will be removed, and everyone will receive hot meals with sterilized cutlery. However, drinks and food options will be reduced. In business and first, the airline will offer single-use menus with lesser options than before.
Once on the ground, planes will go through thorough disinfection and deep cleaning after each flight. Flight crews can expect shorter layovers and individual rooms in case of a long layover. Upon their return, all crew will be tested for the coronavirus and needed to self-isolate for 14 days.
Scheduled flights resume
Emirates has resumed limited services to nine destinations this week as well as transfers through Dubai for some routes. Previously, the airline was only operating one-way flights out of Dubai for those wishing to return home. Passengers can book round-trip tickets to Chicago, Frankfurt, London Heathrow, Madrid, Melbourne, Milan, Paris, Sydney, and Toronto, as well as connections between the UK and Australia. This schedule will remain in effect until 30th June, but we could see more destinations added soon.
With such extensive safety measures, Emirates is trying to shore up confidence in travel. However, global travel restrictions mean that non-essential travel will remain near-zero for the foreseeable future. Emirates has definitely been at the forefront of the crisis, and many airlines will follow in its footsteps with extensive safety precautions.
What do you think of Emirates’ new safety measures? Will more people be willing to fly due to these precautions? Let us know in the comments below.