Lufthansa is introducing social distancing onboard its flights. However, there’s a catch. The new policy will only be enforced on flights departing Germany, in addition to domestic flights.
Social distancing is the practice of keeping individuals separated in order to reduce infection. It is currently becoming a part of everyday life. In fact, when I went to the bakery today, I had to stand on a cross 1.5m away from all the other crosses.
With airline seats packed so closely together, many airlines are struggling to enforce the practice on their aircraft without cutting capacity. However, now Lufthansa is implementing such a policy.
What does the new policy look like?
Lufthansa’s new seating policy will only take effect in the airline’s economy and premium economy cabins. These are the cabins that typically see passengers most densely packed. As such, in these cabins, the airline will ensure that passengers are adequately spaced.
The airline said that at least one seat will be left between each passenger. However, they don’t specify if this is just along a row, or also the case from the front of the aircraft to the back of the aircraft. On an Airbus A320, excluding the service aspect, the seating arrangement would effectively become all business.
The policy also applies on the ground. Lufthansa and Eurowings are, where possible, refraining from using bus gates. The airline said that if it is not possible to avoid a bus gate, additional busses would be used in order to give passengers more personal space.
For the time being, these measures will be in place until the 19th of April, however, could be further extended. They were agreed between the German Minister of Transport, Andreas Scheuer, and the Lufthansa Group CEO, Carsten Spohr.
Not on all flights
However, importantly, the new policy is not being implemented onboard every single flight. In fact, on most flights, it will only be in operation in one direction. With the exception of domestic flights, any aircraft landing in Germany will not have the policy applied.
Commenting on this policy the airline said:
This regulation does not apply on flights to Germany, because the airlines top priority remains returning as many people as possible to their home country
Obviously the Lufthansa Group was placed in a tricky position. Some passengers may get stranded abroad if it were to enforce the rules in both directions. However, one would imagine that on such flights, when they are not full, the airline will still try to enforce the policy where possible.
What do you think? Should Lufthansa prioritize social distancing or repatriating passengers? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!