Qatar Airways has updated its boarding process for flights departing Hamad International Airport (HIA) in Doha. In addition to the enhanced boarding process, passengers will be issued a PPE kit that includes a face shield. All passengers entering the terminal are expected to wear face masks. This includes passengers within the airport making flight connections.
Qatar Airways chief executive, Akbar Al Baker, said: “Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, the safety of our passengers has been our highest priority. By introducing these additional onboard safety and hygiene measures, our customers can rely on us and our unparalleled expertise to fly them safely to their destination. As the largest international airline flying consistently throughout the pandemic, we have become one of the most experienced in safety and hygiene. We will continue to lead the industry in terms of the services offered to our passengers so that they can travel with confidence.”
The Boarding Process
Qatar Airways has modified its check-in kiosks for optional facial recognition. The addition of facial recognition will convert the boarding kiosks and bag drop to contactless operation. Passage through the E gates immigration has also been converted to contactless. When passengers pass through security, their temperature will be thermal scanned. Electronics can remain in carry-on bags during the security screening.
Prior to boarding, passengers will receive a PPE kit consisting of:
- Face shield (adult and child sizes),
- Face mask,
- Sanitizer and
Passengers boarding certain Qatar flights out of Hamad may be subject to additional thermal scanning prior to entering the boarding gate.
Onboard The Aircraft
Qatar has upgraded the cleaning of its aircraft that includes enhanced cabin air filtration. The cabin crew will be wearing PPE throughout the flight.
During the flight, economy passengers will be expected to wear face shields at all times except for eating, drinking and using the restroom. Business class passengers can wear the face shield at their discretion. All passengers will be required to wear face shields during boarding and deplaning. Business class seating has sliding portions with doors and a Do Not Disturb (DND) indicator to minimize cabin crew interaction.
Until a Covid-19 vaccine is proven and available, this could be the new normal in flying. Qatar has made a commitment to keep their passengers and employees as safe as humanly possible. Will other airlines adopt issuing face masks?