Airlines and Perception

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Dear Travel Agents/Advisors,

Last week I wrote about how the American airlines are responding to protect passengers from getting Covid-19 while flying. Many other countries and airlines check passengers’ temperature before they check in.

Emirates airline administers blood tests for Covid-19, with results in 10 minutes, at the terminal before a passenger boards the plane. This test is administered by the Dubai Health Authority. This test does not substitute for the use of masks during the flight; passengers need to wear masks as well.

In terms of PERCEPTION, I personally like the proactive approach being used by Emirates, BUT we all know that unfortunately, there are some false positive and false negative results. The false negative could be dangerous for other passengers, and the false positives will not only frustrate a healthy passenger not being allowed to fly, but also give the false idea that once “recovered” this person will be immune.

Until we have a vaccine and/or medication for this horrible virus, I believe that airlines need to give us some type of protection; at least some distance, and the mandatory use of masks. But how to enforce the use of masks on a flight? I think that counting on the flight attendant to enforce this rule is not fair, nor is safe. We all know what can happen when one complains about someone kicking the seat behind, we get a viral YouTube video. How about having a marshal on each flight making sure everyone wears the mask. Since we now have more PPE, the airline could give an N95 mask to each passenger (so all wear the same protective mask) and if one is not wearing it, they’ll need to deal with the marshal plus pay a fine for violating the safety of others.

I truly believe that by doing this, and promoting these efforts through advertising, the PERCEPTION that passengers will have about the airline industry will improve.

What is your opinion?

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