In a rare display of solidarity, the three global airline alliances, Oneworld, SkyTeam and Star Alliance, which together represent over 50% of the world’s air traffic, have combined forces on a project to help passengers know how safe they are while traveling by plane.
What are airline alliances?
Airline alliances are groups of airlines that make agreements to work with one another so they can get passengers to more destinations around the world. You can learn more about them here.
The three alliances have recently worked together on a new video that shows passengers the things airlines are doing to ensure their safety and well-being while traveling. Called Dear Travelers, it explains what passengers can expect as restrictions are decreased and long-distance traveling is more of an option.
The goal of the video is to show passengers that once they’re ready to fly, they can feel confident in their decision, knowing that airlines and airports worldwide are using enhanced hygiene and safety protocols to decrease health risks.
From Oneworld CEO Rob Gurney:
Safety has always been at the core of our member airlines’ operations and this will continue to be the case. With the additional health and well-being measures that have been implemented by our member airlines,and across the industry, customers can embark on their travel with confidence.
From Kristin Colvile, CEO of SkyTeam:
The safety and well-being of passengers and employees have always been our members’ number one priority. We have seen an incredible level of cooperation within the entire aviation community to implement multiple layers of protection around health and hygiene. Passengers can be assured that when they travel many actions have been taken to enhance their personal safety in the airport, and the air.
From Jeffrey Goh, CEO of Star Alliance:
We are pleased to have had the opportunity to work with multiple stakeholders in the industry to deliver, in unison, a message to provide peace of mind to customers that health and hygiene safety in air travel is front and center in the industry’s agenda. We are facing the biggest challenge in the history of our industry but we are equally determined to overcome it through measures that restore confidence in air travel, so that we can connect people and cultures across the world once again.
The video has some huge guns behind it, including ICAO, ATAG, IATA, ACI, A4E, AAC, AAPA, AFRAA, ALTA, Airbus, Boeing and Embraer.
Here’s the video:
My take on it
My first thought? “Wow, they’re getting pretty desperate.”
I totally understand why they felt the need to do this. Despite overhauled cleaning protocols, despite finally insisting on people wearing masks, even despite some airlines keeping the middle seat open so there’s more space between passengers, lots and lots of people just aren’t flying. And airlines are hurting. So I appreciate why they made the video.
Do I think it’ll help? Not really. I can’t say much for the alliance airlines that are based outside the U.S., but American, Delta and United, have told us six ways from Sunday about how well they’re cleaning their planes. But the problem isn’t just about keeping their planes clean or even the “should we or shouldn’t we?” of keeping the middle seat open. It’s about how necessary it is to fly at this particular moment in time.
- Business travel
Corporations have figured out ways to make business travel much less necessary. When push came to shove, that in-person meeting really COULD be done via email or conference call. Besides being safer, it’s also cheaper. A win for the companies, but a loss for the airlines.
- Leisure travel
Leisure travel simply isn’t necessary, which automatically puts airlines at a disadvantage. Of course, “having” to fly for an important family event is still happening. But regular “vacation” type flights? Right now? For some, perhaps. But for the majority? Maybe not so much.
And with both groups of travelers, if you fly, it’s not just the planes and the airports to contend with. There are usually also hotels and restaurants to worry about, and how they are (or are not – I still can’t believe this actually happened) handing the pandemic. To say nothing of not being able to travel to a bunch of countries, the potential of quarantines when you get home, etc. Oh, and don’t forget the yahoos who will be everywhere you go, refusing to “give up their liberties” by wearing masks. #rolleyes
So yes, I get it. The coronavirus pandemic has been awful for travel, airlines are in a real bind and they’re doing whatever they can to survive. I just hope they don’t think this video will be the shot in the arm to get all of us flying. For a lot of us, that shot in the arm will need to be a real, live thing before we start flying to places again.
#stayhealthy #staysafe #washyourhands #wearamask
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary