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.