It is expected that domestic and trans-Tasman travel restriction will ease, which is so exciting for everyone who has missed going on holidays. In light of this Qantas is introducing a range of measures that are new and will be available once normal domestic travel resumes.
The new Fly Well program brings together some already existing measures plus new ones to help prepare customers for travel. Some of these measures are:
* Information will be sent out before we fly so we know what to expect.
* Check-in will be contactless – everyone is also encouraged to use self serve bag drop as well as using Q bag tags to help this run smoothly.
* There will be hand sanitizing stations at departure gates.
* Social distancing to minimize crowding at disembarking and boarding.
* There will be some temporary changed to the Lounges which include physical distancing, more disinfection of surfaces plus sanitizing stations. Plus some adjusting of the food and drink service.
* There will be regular disinfection of security screening points and where it’s possible the installation of hygiene screens at service desks.
These new changes extend to on the plane as well as the airport with changes including
* enhanced cleaning of the aircraft with a focus on high contact areas like seat belts, air vents and toilets.
* while it will not be mandatory to wear, masks will be provided to all passengers and are encouraged to be worn to help with everyone’s peace of mind.
* passengers will be provided with sanitizing wipes so they can wipe down their own area as required.
* To minimize touchpoints for passengers and crew the catering service will be simplified. Plus sequenced boarding and disembarkation and passengers will be asked to limit their movement around the cabins.
* Qantas and Jetstar aircraft are already fitted with hospital-grade HEPA filters which remove 99.9% of all particles including viruses. To ensure the highest possible quality of air in the cabin the air is refreshed every five minutes.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has said the following
“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."
“We are relying on the cooperation 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".
“We will continue to work with government and monitor the rollout of these measures closely, which are designed with safety in mind and help people feel comfortable given the new norms that have emerged in response to the coronavirus crisis".
A couple of comments from the Qantas Group Medical Director, Dr Ian Hosegood “The data shows that actual risk of catching coronavirus on an aircraft is already extremely low. That’s due to a combination of factors, including an air filtration system, the fact people don’t sit face to face and the high backs of aircraft seats acting as a physical barrier. As far as the virus goes, an aircraft cabin is a very different environment to other forms of public transport".
Another improved flexibility move by Qantas is that from between 21st may and 30th June 2020 for travel between 12th June and 31st October 2020 both Qantas and Jetstar domestic flights will waive the change fee one time if for any reason the date of travel needs to be changed. Just the fare increase will be charged where relevant.
For international flights customers with an existing Jetstar or Qantas flight with travel between 1st August and 31st October 2020 – any cancelled booking will receive full value as a flight credit. The flight credit must be requested by 30th June 2020 and are valid until 31st Dec 2021.
There is no doubt that Qantas is committed to looking after the wellbeing of customers during these difficult times. They did customer research and it showed that 98% of frequent flyers are planning their next trip once restriction lift. It’s always great to have something to look forward to and there is nothing like planning a holiday to lift your spirits.