I whine about this way too often, but if not for COVID-19, I would personally be on my flight home from Greece right about now. Air travel will not be the same for a while at least, many aviation sites predict. While that may mean that we might not enjoy flash sales on ticket prices for the coming months, at the very least, we will still get to visit the cities we’ve been dying to—but not without some essential measures in place.
Face Masks & Safe-Distancing at All Times
Effective of 11.59pm last night, all passengers of Singapore Airlines and its regional counterpart SilkAir must bring and wear their own face masks throughout the duration of the flight. This was announced through an official advisory released by Singapore Airlines, in accordance with a Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore directive.
On top of that, safe-distancing measures when embarking and disembarking from a flight, as well as when queueing for the lavatory, will be observed, assisted by SIA’s ground staff and cabin crew.
Basic Health Screening For Passengers to Singapore
All passengers on flights to Singapore will also undergo a basic health assessment before boarding the aircraft. This includes a verbal health declaration and temperature checks, wrote the airlines in its press release.
Meal & Inflight Services Adjustments
Meal services will unfortunately be suspended for flights within South East Asia and services to China. Instead, a snack bag with water and refreshments will be provided upon boarding.
Meals services on all other flights will still remain status quo, and will still be provided. Customers who require special meals can request for one from a reduced list based on International Air Transport Association guidelines.
Minor adjustments to their inflight services include the suspension of the hot towel service, as well as the removal of menu cards and seat back literature such as magazines on all flights. With your personal devices in tow though, I’m sure there’s plenty to keep you occupied when you’re cruising at 35,000 feet in the air.
Thorough Cleaning & Disinfecting
Singapore Airlines and SilkAir have since taken their fair share of precautionary measures, such as a thorough cleaning process that all aircraft actively undergo. This includes the use of an approved strong disinfectant to clean all common areas.
Aircraft are equipped with High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters, which effectively filter more than 99.99% of airborne microbes and have a similar performance to those used in hospital operating rooms.
Similar Measures on Scoot
Just like passengers of Singapore Airlines and SilkAir, those of Scoot must don face masks on board as well. In addition, they will have to have their temperature taken and submit a health declaration form before checking in.
All Scoot operating crew, who already undergo pre-flight temperature taking, will also wear appropriate PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) while on duty.
Reduced Cabin Baggage
As opposed to the previous 10kg and 15kg allowance in Economy and ScootPlus respectively, passengers of Scoot now have to limit their cabin baggage to 3kg. Before you get all hot and bothered about the new regulation, you will be relieved to know that the remaining cabin baggage can be checked in at no additional cost. Just be sure to keep your more fragile items on board with you.
While this might spell longer waiting times and a tad bit of inconvenience, it is but a small price to pay for still having the chance to travel around our beloved planet. Here’s hoping that if anything, the coronavirus has taught us to treasure our nature-bestowed gifts and the borrowed time that we are all living on.
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