Lufthansa Won’t Implement Social Distancing On Flights To Germany

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.

Lufthansa, Airbus A380, coronavirus
Lufthansa is implementing a new social distancing policy onboard some of its flights. Photo: Getty Images

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.

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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.

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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.

Getty Lufthansa landing
Some aircraft will effectively get an all-business-class layout. Photo: Getty

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.

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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.

Eurowings
Eurowings flights will also fall under the new policy. Photo: Getty

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!

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Louis

This is like other airlines running repatriation flights though isn’t, I seem to remember the Air Canada B777 taking passengers back from Morocco carried 444 passengers, that figure looked a bit high for the aircraft type to me, but definitely would have had to have had all seats full. My parents recently got repatriated by TUI and again it was fill the planes to get people home and not worrying about social distancing. After everyones been rammed together in airports it probably doesn’t make any difference anyway.

Jarmila Taud

Practice distancing is the best way forward.I’m booked on one of the flights going back to Germany and don’t mind being rebooked to another flight or date so as to have some distance between myself and the next passenger. A typical tourist or business person probably wants to get back to Germany asap and would accept any seating configuration.

Farnoush Mansourian

Social distancing should be enforced.

Maria

Yes they should. My daughter had her flight home cancelled and is stuck in lockdown in south africa. I dont want her giving up her safety by trying to get home on a packed seat to seat plane.

Denise Vasari

Social distancing shills be the goal. It does not help German citizens if they return home sick with the virus.

Bharat

It’s a good policy but the priority should be to screen passengers and infected passengers to be isolated or a separate flight for them. Don’t mind if policy is not implemented for healthy patients

Maria Dimopoulos

Social distancing must be on every flight and or domestic plus international. They themselves are also at risk if one passenger gets sick , the entire flight is at risk & ofcource themselves.

Guy Wiltgen

There should be both: Social distancing and repatriating of passengers. It is immoral and unethic to organise a survey asking to decide between both options.

Ombd

I have a friend who recently flew a jumbo out to Japan with full crew and 40 passengers. They had a 10 day layover before returning with 350 Germans. She said some of them were pretty sick. Social distancing on an airliner is frankly impossible.