Airlines are taking a variety of different approaches when it comes to inflight services as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Hong Kong Airlines is now taking things further to reduce the spread of coronavirus. As a precautionary measure, the airline will be drastically cutting inflight service.
Hong Kong Airlines cuts inflight service
Hong Kong Airlines announced a few changes to inflight service in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak. Claiming these moves are a measure to protect customers and crew from the virus, they will also make the travel experience on Hong Kong Airlines a little less pleasant. Hong Kong Airlines has cut the following services:
- No more duvets or blankets and pillows will be available onboard aircraft
- Magazine selection will not be available. Instead, passengers will find a newspaper and other reading materials as present in the seatback pocket.
However, there is one huge change that will drastically impact the inflight experience:
Passengers on Hong Kong Airlines will no longer receive inflight catering. Instead, business class passengers will get a simple bottle of water. Economy class passengers will receive a “cuplet” of water.
This is not the first airline to eliminate onboard meal service. However, it does represent a pretty drastic cut on the part of the airline.
Hong Kong Airlines has also shut down a lounge
In addition, Hong Kong Airlines announced that one of its lounges, Club Autus, has been shut down until further notice. Meanwhile, the other Hong Kong Airlines lounge, Club Bauhinia will remain open. Passengers will be able to help themselves to individually wrapped food items or else indulge in a made-to-order Noodle Bar.
The shutting down of this club is likely a result of reduced traffic through Hong Kong alongside concerns about the spread of coronavirus.
What this means for passengers
Ultimately, the inflight experience will be far from a normal flight experience. Thankfully, Hong Kong Airlines does not operate any long-haul flights where this would be a huge issue. Rather, Hong Kong Airlines is focusing on intra-Asia flights where passing a few hours is less of a major issue without inflight catering.
Hong Kong Airlines is also facing financial concerns. The carrier had a scare in 2019 before receiving additional funding. While closing Club Autus and cutting inflight services will help Hong Kong Airlines save some money, the airline also has to deal with reduced passenger demand on flights to and from the rest of Asia. For now, however, the inflight experience will be much different on Hong Kong Airlines for the foreseeable future. Only time will tell when the airline will restore catering and blankets on flights.
Have you been impacted by Hong Kong Airlines’ inflight service cuts? Let us know in the comments!