Plane etiquette is difficult at the best of times; other passengers invading your personal space, skipping queues and deciding to open the smelliest sandwich mid-flight. But now more than ever, we need to be considerate of each other. From wearing a face covering to compulsory temperature checks, these are six airplane etiquette habits we should all look to be adopting in the near future.
1. When possible wear a mask or face covering
One airplane etiquette habit we will see a lot more, is passengers and crew wearing masks or face coverings. Many airlines across the world have already introduced new regulations that require all those onboard to wear protective gear like face masks and gloves. For example, Air Canada has required masks or facial coverings for all passengers since 20th April.
“Coverings must be worn over the mouth and nose while at check-in, during the boarding process, and during flight. While on board the aircraft, the masks may be removed for eating and drinking, if the emergency oxygen is deployed, or if flight attendants deem adequate physical distance can be maintained in-flight.” – Air Canada’s new flight policy.
Although there is a lot of confusion about the benefits of face masks, we do know for a fact that along with regular hand-washing and social distancing it can help prevent the transmission of Coronavirus air particles.
2. Carry anti-bacterial wipes with you
Another plane etiquette habit we will need to adopt is wiping down everything with anti-bacterial wipes. This will include your armrest, tray table, TV, TV remote, seat belt, light, air-corn nozzle and overhead luggage handle. Airlines will be doing as much as possible to keep their aircraft clean and sterile, but we will have to do our part and seriously up our hygiene game. Anti-bacterial wipes will disinfect hard surfaces and can give you peace of mind that your area is clean.
3. Keep your distance
Keeping social distance on an airplane will be tricky but we will have to do our very best. Some airlines are considering leaving the middle seat free, helping you keep your distance as much as possible. Try not to block the aisle while you wait for the toilet. Always ask one of the cabin crew to retrieve your belongings to avoid getting out of your seat as much as possible.
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4. Use anti-bacterial gels and wash your hands regularly
We will need to use anti-bacterial hand gels a lot more during a flight. Try to use gel every time you touch something new, or where possible try to avoid touching surfaces altogether. Additionally, wash your hands frequently, but only if you do not have hand-gel as you want to remain in your seat as much as possible.
5. Keep your belongings close to you
OK, this is one airplane etiquette habit we are already used to. Keep your belongings close. Don’t ask a stranger to look after your things while you dash to the toilet or run to grab a coffee. Take your things with you, to keep your stuff safe and germ-free.
6. Expect temperature testing
Testing will become the new norm when travelling through airports. Emirates are offering a limited number of virus tests passengers and Air Canada plans to begin taking temperature readings at check-in this month.
Puerto Rico’s Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport is an insight into what airport screenings could be like in the future. The airport’s new thermal-imaging cameras screen arriving passengers, triggering an alarm when a temperature of 100.3 or higher is registered. Feverish passengers are taken aside for evaluation.
How do you feel about flying in the future? We would love to hear your thoughts, please leave them in the comments below.