Qantas, Jetstar reveal major flight changes
Airline passengers will be handed face masks, sanitising wipes and encouraged to sanitise their hands before getting on-board Qantas and Jetstar flights.
In a series of new measures announced by the airline giant today, they are improving cleanliness both on-board their flights and before passengers enter an aircraft.
In a move that will be enforced on Qantas and Jetstar flights it includes the following:
• Contactless check-in can be completed online or via the app and customers are also to use self-service bag drop.
• Hand sanitising stations at gates on departure and arrival.
• Enhanced cleaning of seats, seatbelts, overhead lockers, air vents, kiosks and toilets.
• Physical distancing at airports and in lounges.
And while on-board passengers will be notice these changes:
• Face masks will be provided to all customers.
• Sanitising wipes will be provided to passengers to wipe down seat belts, trays and armrests.
• Passengers will be asked to stay in their seats as much as possible.
• There will be limited food and beverage options available.
The new changes will begin from Friday, June 12.
Qantas chief executive officer Alan Joyce said the measure will help manage the risk of coronavirus on both airlines.
"We're relying on the co-operation of passengers to help make these changes work for everyone's benefit and we thank them in advance for that," he said.
"Given the great job Australians have done at flattening the curve we're confident they'll respond positively to these temporary changes to how we fly."
Qantas group medical director Dr Ian Hosegood said the risk of contracting coronavirus on-board remains low.
"The data shows the actual risk of catching coronavirus on an aircraft is already extremely low," he said.
"Social distancing on an aircraft isn't practical the way it is on the ground and given the low transmission risk on board we don't believe it's necessary in order to be safe.
"The extra measures we're putting in place will reduce the risk even further."
The airline has also made changes to its booking arrangements.
Customers can book any Qantas or Jetstar domestic flight between May 21 and June 30 this year for travel between June 12 and October 31 2020 and the airlines will waive the change fee once if passengers change their date of travel down the track.
However customers will have to cover any fare increase - if it applies - for the new booking.
As for international flight customers with existing overseas bookings for travel between August 1 and October 31 2020, customers who wish to change their plans can cancel their booking and get a full credit.
The credits must be requested by June 30 and are valid for booking on both domestic and international services until December 31 2021.
Jetstar credit vouchers allow up to two years to travel from the date of use.
But if a flight is cancelled by Qantas or Jetstar customers will be rebooked on the next available flight at no additional costs.
Alternatively customers can choose a flight credit or refund.
Originally published as Qantas, Jetstar reveal major flight changes