Lufthansa has seen no resistance to its policy of mandatory mask-wearing, the airline told Simple Flying yesterday. The German flag carrier was one of the first airlines in the world to mandate mask-wearing onboard flights in response to the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic.
Wearing masks has become a hot topic in the United States, from passengers who refuse the wear them to airlines that refuse to fly passengers without them. In some more extreme cases, we’ve even seen aircraft turn around mid-flight when passengers have removed and refused to replace their masks. However, it seems that things couldn’t be more different on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.
No resistance to masks
Yesterday, July 30th, Simple Flying got the chance to meet with Lufthansa to discover how the airline is dealing with the challenges arising out od the current pandemic. We already touched on our visit to the airline’s COVID-19 testing center.
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However, when given the opportunity, we were keen to find out how Lufthansa’s mandatory mask policy is going. Lufthansa said that they are yet to see any opposition to compulsory mask-wearing during flights.
One member of the airline’s cabin crew, who was present, pointed out that if anything, passengers are experiencing the opposite of resistance. They remarked that on a recent flight to India, many passengers chose to supplement their face mask with face shields, gloves, and even disposable gowns.
Klaus Froese, CEO Lufthansa German Airlines, Hub Frankfurt, pointed out that Lufthansa had changed its conditions of carriage to include a clause that mandates mask-wearing. This means that by booking a ticket with the airline, you automatically agree to wear a mask for the duration of the flight.
Froese also remarked that Lufthansa, unlike Delta Air Lines, wouldn’t change the destination of a flight if a passenger outright refused to wear a mask. Additionally, the carrier is carrying additional masks on flights, should they be required by travelers.
Could flights soon be mask free?
It is unlikely that masks will be dropped by airlines any time soon. Indeed, IATA even recommends mask-wearing as opposed to blocking out middle seats to distance passengers.
However, with the ever-changing technology of COVID-19 testing, it could be possible to one day remove the mask requirement on certain flights. For example, if 100% of the passengers had reliably tested negative for COVID-19 just before boarding the flight. Of course, as things stand, such a policy is likely a long way off. As such, for the time being, it looks as though masks are here to stay.
Do you think testing could one day remove the requirement to wear masks on flights? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.