What Should Flight Attendants Be Doing To Stay Safe?

Most coverage has been about passengers – being afraid to fly, not allowed to fly by their companies, being advised to avoid risk. The President of the United States is advising against discretionary travel that is still mostly permitted. Yet day in and day out airline crew continue to show up at airports, get on planes, and interact with passengers. They’ve continued to work flights to Europe and Asia that many passengers have been unwilling to take.

The FAA issued a safety alert late last week outlining procedures that flight attendants should follow when exercising their duties.

What does the government advise? Among other things:

Housing flight and cabin crews on layovers (in the United States or internationally):

Arrange to move crewmembers as a group between the airport and the hotel aboard private ground transport that has been sanitized in advance. Advise your crews to avoid public transport unless it is an emergency.

Arrange to house flight crews in hotels that are in close proximity to the airport. Ensure that the hotel rooms are sanitized in advance of the crews’ arrival.

Provide crew with at least a 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Encourage crews to:

o Avoid contact with sick people

o Stay in their hotel rooms to the extent possible

o Minimize going out into the general population

o Use social distancing (maintain a distance of approximately 6 feet, if possible) whenever out in public

o Avoid crowds, stores, sporting or mass entertainment events, and other situations likely to attract large numbers of people

o Eat in their hotel rooms with either room service or delivery service. If in-room dining options are not available, they should eat at a restaurant located in the hotel. If not available at the hotel, they should eat at a restaurant located close to the hotel.

While many of us aren’t working in the usual way right now, this isn’t the job most flight attendants are used to either.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. That meme triggers me.

    As is usual Flight Attendants will be the first to point out the great hardship they endure. What about TSA agents? CBP? Hotel workers, especially housekeepers? Airplane cleaners?

    I won’t even start with health care workers on the front lines.

    Really, the list goes on with jobs right now that border on hazardous. Of course, Flight Attendants will be the first to complain as if they are the only ones out there exposing themselves. And most of them are being offered options unlike many of these other careers.

  2. They should basically treat the interior of an aircraft like a diseased hospital room. The disease is droplet spread. FA’s should be wearing masks to cover their eyes, mouth and noses. Actually everyone should be forced to wear a mask for the duration of flights. But no one is going to be flying much in 2020.

  3. Sara Nelson, president of the flight attendants union, was on Fox network over the weekend to discuss their rules as “first responders” in the virus crisis. Her words not mine.
    God help us if they are first responders

  4. An asymptomatic FA in first class can infect almost everyone in first class on every flight the FA works. Choose a window seat to be as isolated as possible from FAs and other passengers. Maybe its a good idea to forego meals and drinks.

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