Qantas announces new measures to prepare for travel restrictions easing
Qantas announces new measures to prepare for travel restrictions easing

Qantas announces new in-flight changes

Qantas and Jetstar passengers will experience a new way of flying from next month, with both carriers announcing they will be implementing a string of changes amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Making the announcement on Tuesday, Qantas Group launched the Fly Well program which will see a number of temporary changes rolled out to keep both passengers and crew safe while in the air.

From June 12, the airline will issue passengers with masks on board, have hand sanitising stations installed at departure gates and enhanced aircraft cleaning between flights.

There will also be changes to the way passengers check in for their flights, with the airline encouraging everyone to use contactless check-in (via online/app) and a self-serve bag drop prior to boarding.

Qantas have announced a string of new changes on board their planes. Picture: Lukas Coch/AAP
Qantas have announced a string of new changes on board their planes. Picture: Lukas Coch/AAP

For those who enjoy a quick champagne before departure, it is understood there will be temporary changes to Qantas Lounges across the country, including increased physical distancing, hand sanitising stations, enhanced disinfection of surfaces and adjustments to food and drink service.

It is not clear, however, when lounges will be reopened to passengers.

 

Passengers will be given wipes to clean their seats and tray tables. Picture: Toby Zerna
Passengers will be given wipes to clean their seats and tray tables. Picture: Toby Zerna

 

During flights, the carriers will provide masks to all passengers and while wearing them is not mandatory, from a safety point of view they are recommended to be worn in the interests of everyone's peace-of-mind.

Qantas Group said the enhanced cleaning measures of each aircraft will involve a disinfectant effective against coronaviruses, with a focus on high contact areas - seats, seatbelts, overhead lockers, air vents and toilets.

But keeping the middle-seat free, which the airline introduced in April, will become a thing of the past under the new health and safety measures because the policy is impractical.

"Social distancing on an aircraft isn't practical the way it is on the ground, and given the low transmission risk on board, we don't believe it's necessary in order to be safe. The extra measures we're putting place will reduce the risk even further," Qantas Group Medical Director, Dr Ian Hosegood, said.

Qantas passengers will face differences to checking in pre-flight. Picture: Adam Head
Qantas passengers will face differences to checking in pre-flight. Picture: Adam Head

Before seating, passengers will be given sanitising wipes to clean their seat belts, trays and armrests themselves.

For those who enjoy a meal on board, the airline says the catering service will be simplified

to minimise touchpoints for crew and passengers.

Crowding will be minimised by implementing sequenced boarding and disembarkation, while passengers will be encouraged against moving around the cabin mid-flight.

"Safety is absolutely core to how we operate and that applies to new challenges like managing the risk of coronavirus so people can fly with confidence," Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said in a statement.

"We're relying on the co-operation of passengers to help make these changes work for everyone's benefit, and we thank them in advance for that. Given the great job Australians have done at flattening the curve, we're confident they'll respond positively to these temporary changes to how we fly."

Qantas has announced how flying will change post-pandemic.
Qantas has announced how flying will change post-pandemic.

Customers will also be given improved flexibility when booking, including the waiving of the change fee one time if you decide to change the date of your travel. Customers will have to cover any fare increase (if relevant) for the new booking.

Further flexibility has been introduced for international bookings (excluding trans-Tasman). Customers with an existing Qantas or Jetstar international flight booking, for travel between August 1 and October 31, 2020, who wish to change their plans, can cancel their booking and retain the full value as a flight credit.

Originally published as Qantas announces new in-flight changes


Meghan, Harry ‘struggling to cope’ in LA

Meghan, Harry ‘struggling to cope’ in LA

Dream of a blissful new life has quickly turned into a nightmare

Fresh confusion over virus 'detention'

Fresh confusion over virus 'detention'

Thousands of Melbourne public housing residents have been provided with "detention...

Man in iconic 9/11 photo dies from virus

Man in iconic 9/11 photo dies from virus

This man miraculously survived the 9/11 terror attacks