Mandatory face masks amongst new Aer Lingus safety measures for passengers and crew
Long queues at the gate before boarding look set to become a thing of the past.
Mandatory face masks or face coverings and new boarding and disembarkation procedures are amongst a range of new safety measures announced by Aer Lingus to protect customers and staff against the spread of Covid-19.
Aer Lingus is currently operating a limited number of services, but the measures will take effect immediately and remain in place when business and leisure flying resumes.
From now on, face masks or coverings will be mandatory on all Aer Lingus flights for passengers and cabin crew, with the exception of small children and people who are unable to wear a mask or covering for medical reasons.
The face coverings can be in the form of a reusable cloth mask or a disposable mask. While mandatory on all Aer Lingus flights, it is also recommended that they are worn from the time passengers enter the departure airport to the time they leave their destination airport.
The airline has also introduced new boarding and disembarkation procedures.
As a result, passengers will board and disembark the aircraft in small groups and according to seat row numbers. At the boarding gate, customers will scan their own boarding card and show their passport or ID to the Aer Lingus staff, making the entire process contactless.
Clip via Aer Lingus
“Significantly enhanced” cleaning processes and procedures will be introduced on all Aer Lingus aircraft, including the use of hospital-grade disinfectant on all hard surfaces and deep cleaning of tray tables, arm rests and windows by hand.
Aer Lingus says that all of its Airbus aircraft are fitted with state-of-the-art air filtration technology as standard. Also used in hospital operating theatres, the filtering technology removes 99.97% of airborne particles such as viruses and bacteria and cabin air is fully replaced every three minutes.
The airline will also be asking customers to make sure they are fit to fly and will request that intending passengers who are experiencing any Covid-19 symptoms to refrain from travelling to the airport.
Passengers will be encouraged to check in online and to check in their luggage and use self-service kiosks where available to minimise contact.
In-flight services, including food and drink, have been suspended on short-haul services, while a reduced service is available on long-haul services, with contactless payment for any purchases, in an effort to reduce passenger movement in the cabin.
Commenting on the new measures, Peter O’Neill, Chief Operations Officer, Aer Lingus, said: “The safety and well-being of our customers and staff has always been our central priority. In recent weeks, teams across Aer Lingus have been working tirelessly to develop new processes and procedures informed by international guidance.
“Our operations teams are introducing these new measures, from implementing additional cleaning and disinfecting, to adopting new procedures at check in, boarding and on board each flight. Coupled with the adoption of new procedures by airports and the mandatory use of face coverings on board our aircraft, it is clear that flying is going to be different for the next while.
“We want to reassure our customers that when the time comes and we are travelling once again, Aer Lingus will be ready to take you to your chosen destination, as safely as possible.”