Do you have set Aircraft / Airlines to fly, as our trips re-start?

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  • MarcusGB
    Participant

    Are you also considering the individual Aircraft seating and cabin arrangements, which Airlines and Airports for re-starting your flying?

    Discussions with friends and colleagues. have raised a seemingly common issue most people are actively considering.
    Which Aircraft will Airlines run on your chosen route?
    Therefore define the Cabin space, seating, service developed and adapted, Ground arrangements, and procedures for a more comforting lessening risk for travel.

    With most Airlines stating that they have withdrawn the A380, and 747’s, there will be no two floor aircraft in the skies, which at least provided greater space, room to move and walk. If economically this were viable, they would be the ideal to “Socially distance”, but at least more physical aircraft passenger space to move.

    I Generally fly East from UK, S E Asia, and down to Australia and around Oceania. With the Australian Government being very strict yet successful in their borders being closed possibly until 2021, travel there is unlikely. It normally has to be all booked some months ahead, and less Spontaneous travel with distance and time.

    But looking at various Airlines, it strikes us all that we would be looking for Business seats 1-2-1, rather than 2-2-2. Air France has some 2-3-2 Business Class 773-ER’s! Yet it also has newly fitted 1-2-1 Suites on some 773’s, New A350’s also 1-2-1 which are private comfortable quiet, and in my view, safer.
    KLM similarly have the 789/10’s which also have the suites, but otherwise are 2-2-2, on all other Long haul 777’s.
    Airlines like Singapore, are getting towards running meal services as before, but in new ways, where as others are stating pre-packed or”One tray”, and no second service, as Air France / KLM.

    And what of Lounge availability, and access to whom, which has changed, and will rise as time goes by?

    I would also be considering which Airports i start from, transit in terms of being well run, and better hygiene and statements of safety measures as we continue to live in this Covid-19 world.
    Destination, and Hotels similarly, many International Groups like Accor brands, having adopted International Certificated bodies to oversee new procedures, wherever you stay in The World.

    It seems all these issues we took for granted post the World being put on hold. Yet the rise in S America, Africa, and North America, indicates more of an unchecked or poorly resourced provision to care and treat. This Pandemic if far from over, even our own “wave of initial infections” have flatlined but far from gone, in around 28,000 infections per week, and varying around 175+ daily death rate. (ONS).

    I do take into account the safety of HEPA filters and the safety of air on Board, extra procedures, but i really am put off by dense seating, snacks not meals, and no lounge provision when paying for a 12 hr Business Class or First class flight.
    It matters less for short haul, within Europe i feel.
    Personally for Medium / Long haul, all of the above does matter strongly, and if we think what we do pay for in a Business trip. from the check in, to leaving from the Airport at our destination. It is a package of services.

    So would you choose an Airline with a private Suite in Business on a 787-10, or a dense 2-2-2 or 2-3-2 on a 777, when paying the same price?
    And what of food and drink, Lounges, or will we be taking our own sandwiches and food provisions with us?!!
    i certainly hope the Airlines must realise customers will be looking at this seriously?

    What are your views…?

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    capetonianm
    Participant

    It’s hard to formulate a view when there are so many unknowns. I’ve been thinking through my next trip to CPT, but of course don’t know when it will be possible, and I just heard that travellers to and from ZA will be quarantined on arrivel in ZA and on return to most countries. Cannot verify if that is true but it seems likely.

    I normally travel LX, OS, KL, LH, in that order of preference and will do the same again assuming that they will all resume flights into CPT. If they’re not going to enforce social distancing properly, regardless of class, and if passengers are going to have to wear masks and shields, and there may be no meal service, and IFE may be switched off due to the ‘risk’ of touchscreens, then I even wondered if it will be worth paying extra for a premium class. If the experience is going to be utterly miserable anyway, many people will opt for the cheapest misery!


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    All of a sudden the dated club world seats, especially by the window may have a rise in popularity due to the enclosed feel….


    SimonS1
    Participant

    At this stage I am working on the assumption that for reasons of logistics it will be impractical to expect serious social distancing, either on board or in the airports. So fundamentally we all have a choice to make before leaving the house.

    From that point it really comes down to what airlines are travelling from A to B. Clearly schedules are much reduced, and airlines have rationalised their fleets (so for example Emirates is operating only 777s from what I can see). So choices may be much reduced.

    Things like lounges or food on board are relatively unimportant to me in the overall scheme of things, so whether the lounge is open or the brand of champagne served on board (if any) would be minor considerations.

    On accommodation, I will be sticking to places that I have known and trusted over many years. I tend to take little interest in places that claim certain certifications, as it tends to be the same ‘brands’ that can be quite penny pinching on implementation. Better to operate in places where you trust those running it, in my view that points to smaller groups or family run establishments where your business is valued as being important to their survival.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    Inquisitive
    Participant

    There is separate thread on 737 Max, that is an aircraft I will not travel in the near future.

    I like A380, A350 and B777 and okay with A320 and B737.
    In near terms I will travel in SQ, Emirates and Qatar.

    All preferences above were pre-COVID19 as well, however post COVID-19 I will change my personal travel choice.
    On business travel, my company allows business class, no issue.
    My personal travel, I used to travel economy or premium economy. Now I will try to reduce my personal travel, but will travel business. As a minimum premium economy.


    MarcusGB
    Participant

    Thanks for your views…

    Certain Airlines are aligning and involving well respected Organisations, regarding Health & Safety advice, as are some airports.
    In terms of Simon1 mentioning hotels, i agree it is often good for Places you have stayed at before, developed a relationship with, to return too.
    Howevere, many of these smaller family run or small hotels, simply cannot adhere tio the local regulations interms of space, distancing, and room occupancy.

    Accor have made an excellent early association, and i do trust their brands Worldwide…

    https://group.accor.com/en/Actualites/2020/05/allsafe-cleanliness-prevention-label

    These range from the Brands purchased recently, Raffles, Swissotel, Fairmont etc, as well as their Sofitel, M’Gallery by Sofitel, Grand Mercure / Mercure, Ibis etc.
    I do trust these larger Brands within a group where i have a Platinum status.
    They were sending us detailed questionnaires on what we expected and wanted during these Covid times ahead, in the last weeks.
    Options included leaving rooms empty for 24-48 hrs after deep cleaning and each guest, free room service breakfast compared to dining areas, and service of a breakfast cooked or prepared fresh in allocated times at the restaurants.
    I stay at an excellent M’Gallery by Sofitel – INK in Amsterdam for Monthly Business, and trust them and know the team and GM, Management very well.
    So I Trust them well, but equally would one of Accor’s owned big Brands for being accredited, monitored Worldwide. Especially for a new destination or City.
    Less so Franchised hotels.
    In Australia, most decent accommodations in the City living style, are big Corporate’s.

    I only wish The Airlines were engaging with us in the same way. though I have had a lot of the same input requests from KLM and Air France.

    Anyone else been asked what we would want, prefer, like to see from these?
    It would be a miracle if LHR bothered to do this, but in these times, listening to your customers, comfort in safety, may be the difference between making it, or closing?

    My remarks earlier about The Government needing to be pushed by the Airlines, is a direct criticism of not at least outlining a framework for the return of Airports, Airlines. There has been no information, plans, strategy, that should take place with The Aviation sector (to also support the huge chains of business in the supply chains), to assist them to work towards a date of returning.
    This i feel is exceptionally cruel to the staff and crews of the Airlines we support, which not only is leading to the loss of jobs, but hugely damaging to their physical and Mental Health, the lives of loyal dedicated people, that made our travel so enjoyable.


    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    It’s hard to formulate a view when there are so many unknowns. I’ve been thinking through my next trip to CPT, but of course don’t know when it will be possible, and I just heard that travellers to and from ZA will be quarantined on arrivel in ZA and on return to most countries. Cannot verify if that is true but it seems likely.

    I normally travel LX, OS, KL, LH, in that order of preference and will do the same again assuming that they will all resume flights into CPT. If they’re not going to enforce social distancing properly, regardless of class, and if passengers are going to have to wear masks and shields, and there may be no meal service, and IFE may be switched off due to the ‘risk’ of touchscreens, then I even wondered if it will be worth paying extra for a premium class. If the experience is going to be utterly miserable anyway, many people will opt for the cheapest misery!

    You make a good point, is it worth paying extra. I guess my main reason for flying First or Business is the larger seat and having no-one next to me, whereas in Y I run the risk of being in a row of 3 with two close sitting neighbors.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    IanFromHKG
    Participant

    All of a sudden the dated club world seats, especially by the window may have a rise in popularity due to the enclosed feel….

    Except Martyn, for the fact that you are (diagonally) face-to-face with your neighbour for take-off and landing with the divider down.

    We are looking to come back to the UK in September in order to instal Senior Offspring into my old maisonette in Clapham and launch her into the (rather tough-looking) job-seeking market, and to re-instal Junior Offspring in my old alma mater for her second year. Since our FF status has been extended regardless of travel we are in no great need of earning points/miles so wanted to redeem some of those we had accrued, but Asia Miles redemptions (according to the website) were limited to BA in F – which was ok except that it would have wiped out most of my accumulated miles. A call to the Marco Polo Club found us seats in CX J for less than half the points even though it included a one-way leg in BA J to Palma! Tbh, though, we would (given the option!) have chosen CX anyway – the J seats face away from the aisle, have a high seatback with a “wing” (as in wing armchair) at head level, and much wider spacing than BA. On our way back from Palma to London we are booking (paid) BA J in order to get the advantage of the extra space that affords. Every little helps!

    The other big consideration is quarantine – now that HK is on the quarantine-free list for the UK and Spain is on the no-quarantine list from the UK, our only potential obstacle is on return to HK, but here at least (assuming I don’t test positive on arrival and don’t therefore get sent to a quarantine centre but can self-isolate at home) I can work remotely (and have done so extensively this year, with little problem given that we have fibre-optic broadband which operates at so close to its advertised capacity – I regularly get 990+MB/s compared to the theoretical 1GB/s – that bandwidth is not an issue).

    One thing we are actively looking at is getting UV sanitiser “wands” to help with sterilising surfaces (in aircraft and elsewhere) where use of gels, sprays or wipes may not be feasible – such as cloth seats. On our last flight before quarantine restrictions in HK kicked in we were in J on Bangkok Airways and both spent a good 10 minutes with wet wipes and an alcohol spray wiping down every surface in sight. The idea of spending 3 or 4 minutes doing that with a glorified torch, knowing that what we sit on isn’t going to be wet or sticky afterwards, seems a lot more attractive! There are drawbacks – they don’t get right into all the nooks or crannies (but then neither do wet wipes, necessarily), and UV rays are carcinogenic so some care has to be used – but I am inclined to think it is a worthwhile investment, and has the advantage that they can be used for so many other things as well (sanitising luggage, cab seats, touch-screens and so forth)


    capetonianm
    Participant

    Those UV wands sound like a good idea but will Ms Jobsworth or Mr Imjustfollowingtherulesmate allow them through security? And will a/c crew allow their use of will they think it’s a hijack weapon, voodoo curse, or poisoning attempt?

    Serious question as I would consider same for future trips.


    IanFromHKG
    Participant

    Those UV wands sound like a good idea but will Ms Jobsworth or Mr Imjustfollowingtherulesmate allow them through security? And will a/c crew allow their use of will they think it’s a hijack weapon, voodoo curse, or poisoning attempt?

    Serious question as I would consider same for future trips.

    It’s a battery-powered portable device the same size as a medium-to-large torch, with a battery capacity less than that of a laptop. I can’t think of any good reason why they shouldn’t be let through

    Then again, I haven’t been trained as an airport security operative!


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    Participant

    MartynSinclair wrote:
    All of a sudden the dated club world seats, especially by the window may have a rise in popularity due to the enclosed feel….

    Except Martyn, for the fact that you are (diagonally) face-to-face with your neighbour for take-off and landing with the divider down.

    I could live with the first 30 and last 30 minutes of the flight sitting face to face with the screen up & mask on, in exchange for a further 10 – 11 hours of privacy and sleep.

    However, until HKG / BKK allow me in, without 14 days of strict quarantine – all pretty pointless for now.


    ASK1945
    Participant

    IanFromHKG wrote: “…………… UV rays are carcinogenic so some care has to be used”.

    I found your description of using a UV sanitiser wand very interesting and would love to know more from those who have used one, in due course. However, I believe that they could only be “carcinogenic” if pointed at oneself – and then, if battery powered, for a prolonged period. Why would anyone do that?


    capetonianm
    Participant

    I can’t think of any good reason why they shouldn’t be let through
    Then again, I haven’t been trained as an airport security operative!

    “Well, guv, it’s like this, you could bang someone across the nose with it, or give em a smack on the ‘ead.”
    Seriously, I don’t know how big or heavy they are but I can see it being a problem at security. Aslo if you point them at someone apparently it can temporarily blind them.
    Reminds me that security at an airport in India wouldn’t let me take two small packets of curry spices I’d been given by friends because ‘I could throw it into someone’s face and blind them’!

    Since posting earlier I have done a little bit of online research on these things and I am not even sure that the small handheld would be very effective. Would be interested in the views of others.


    IanFromHKG
    Participant

    IanFromHKG wrote: “…………… UV rays are carcinogenic so some care has to be used”.

    I found your description of using a UV sanitiser wand very interesting and would love to know more from those who have used one, in due course. However, I believe that they could only be “carcinogenic” if pointed at oneself – and then, if battery powered, for a prolonged period. Why would anyone do that?

    I think the point is that you would have to use them with a little care to ensure your arms, hands etc weren’t in the beam. I believe the ones we have ordered have a gravity switch so that if you point it towards yourself then it switches off – I am not sure how well that works, and suspect it means that left-handed little old me is going to get seriously narked by having to use the “wrong” hand to operate it!

    capetonianm, they are 5″ x 1″ x 1.5″ and weigh less than three ounces (although that may be without the 4 AAA batteries that power them).


    ASK1945
    Participant

    Ian

    If indeed the machine is powered by just 4 AAA batteries then I suggest that the user will receive a lot more radiation from their flight than a few seconds of it being pointed at an arm, hand or leg. Of course it would be sensible not to point it at the eyes, but why would anyone do that?

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