The international president of the Association of Flight Attendants (CWA), Sara Nelson, recently came into an interview with Yahoo News. She discussed how flying will change post-pandemic or as it still stays with us. She also threw light on how the lives of every flight attendant will be affected.
Future of flying after COVID-19
Here’s an insight into what she said about the future of flying and the job difficult of every flight attendant:
Every passenger needs to wear masks right from the right they enter the airport and till they leave the gates at their destinations. They also need to wear masks onboard. Sara explains how flying will be very different from now on but these are just precautionary measures to keep people safe. She also says that they’re expecting to come back to some kind of normalcy by end of summer or fall and that’s possible when safety measures are properly followed.
Uncertainty of flight attendant jobs
Molly Choma, a flight attendant, and photographer from San Francisco explain how much her life has changed in the past two months. They have been in a constant dilemma of how their work scenario is going to keep changing and that stays the same till now. As of now, all flights have been canceled until fall and that means loss of business and jobs.
Sara Nelson tells Yahoo that the life of attendants will be difficult because their job currently will make them risk their own lives. Currently, they don’t know when they can get back to work. Nelson tells Yahoo about how their business scenario changed due to the coronavirus. She said that they went from completely full planes and celebrated great profits in February and hired around 100,000 people within the last one year. Airlines have come down to just 3% since March, and there is no certainty about when it will be back.
What passengers need to do
According to Molly, passengers need to get everything they can possibly need while flying in order to minimize contact with other people, even flight attendants. She also said that due to the economic and social distancing situation, airlines might not be able to offer facilities like food, beverages, and more. People also have to carry their own hand sanitizers, wipes, and other essentials. She also said that people must cooperate and listen to flight attendants in order to maintain safety. For instance, if they’re told to put on a mask, they should just follow the rule and understand the compulsion.
Nelson further explains that wearing masks is mandatory in order to get any form of service at the airport. From checking in to the airport to getting their boarding passes, everyone will only be assisted when they’re following protocols levied.
How flying will change until pandemic is over
Around 95% of Americans have been in lockdown for the last month. However, things are supposed to change now. Once the lockdown is lifted, there is a possibility of the second wave that will be scarier than how things are right now.
Even while trying to maintain safety at this point, the Federal Government seems to miss the mark on offering comparable safety measures for airline passengers. When the states start opening the spike of air travel will not be how it usually is.
Nelson says that people must be ready to have a different flight experience for now. Things are changing rapidly and people have to adapt to live with the circumstances. Some experts predicted that flying in the future might need travelers to submit a blood test report. Sara said that new regulations take time to adapt. They are currently working on setting up rules to protect the lives of flight attendants and travelers.
Protocols for flight attendants
On April 23, Sara sent a mail to Alex Azar, the Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Health and Human Services Secretary, stating that it is difficult for the cabin crew to maintain social distancing. This was the primary reason why travelers must wear masks until COVID-19 is a threat to the world. Additionally, she also mentioned that travelers using any kind of public transport need to wear masks. It needs to be a mandatory regulation that must be practiced at all times.
The fact that we’re all wearing masks is to make sure that we don’t get infected by the virus. It is essential until the vaccine is available for everyone. This simply means that masks will be mandatory until vaccines are available. However, once the virus is under complete control, people can go back to smiling at each other and buy lipsticks again.
How will flying change for you?
Currently, it is advisable that people should not travel unless it is necessary to do so. Borders will not open for a long time, and international travel isn’t possible right now. The tourism industry is badly hit, and airlines are a part of it. Many of them have reported bankruptcy and are going out of business. At such a time, it is difficult for flight attendants to look forward to their careers in the cabin crew world.
Every flight attendant takes risks for people traveling. From long hours of flying to keeping other’s safety before they have always been a protocol. It is really hard to see how more people from airlines are losing their jobs and don’t know what to do. The US has already reported 36 million job losses since the pandemic started. The airline industry is definitely one of the hard-hit ones. We can only anticipate and see how things change and if there is a probability of things getting better any time soon.