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Qatar Airways insists economy passengers wear a face shield AND a mask

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Qatar Airways is flying to more places than any other long-haul airline at the moment.  In July, it will be operating:

  • London Heathrow: 3 flights per day, all A350 with Qsuite
  • Edinburgh: 3 flights per week
  • Manchester: 11 flights per week 
  • Dublin: 1 flight per day, all A350 with Qsuite

That’s 42 flights per week from the UK and Ireland.

The airline has shown a very strong commitment to passenger safety throughout coronavirus.  I wasn’t convinced that the PPE required to be worn by cabin crew was necessary:

Qatar Airways cabin crew PPE

….. although apparently customer feedback was positive.  This was on the basis that anyone travelling long-haul in recent weeks wasn’t travelling for fun, and accepted those measures as necessary.  This is now being replaced by a protective gown, however, which looks a bit more approachable:

Qatar Airways new cabin crew gown

Long haul leisure travel is opening up, however slowly.  This is why I am less convinced by the latest move – COMPULSORY face shields for all economy passengers.  This is on top of a face mask.

Here are the shields that Qatar Airways provides, adult and child:

Qatar Airways face shield

I don’t have a picture of a face shield in action, unfortunately.

For clarity, these are only compulsory in Economy, and must be worn with a face mask as well.  Business Class passengers will be given the choice of whether to wear one or not. They will be supplied at check-in or during boarding.

Passengers will be provided with a complimentary protective kit. Inside a ziplock pouch, they will find a single-use surgical face mask, disposable powder-free gloves and hand sanitiser gel.

Perhaps I’m out of touch with the public mood here and people want to wear masks and face shield in Economy for security.  Let’s see.

Comments (127)

  • Nick Burch says:

    SYD-DOH is 15 hours, I can’t see this being comfortable for that long. One single mask for that length flight won’t be in great shape by the end

    Loadings are such that you can normally get 3 seats in economy, so plenty of space, sleeping spread over 3 seats with one of these on will be “fun” too…

    (Then another 7 hours onto LHR, going to be interesting coming home in a fortnight!)

    • Louie says:

      Are you having to apply for a permit to leave (i.e Oz citizen or PR)? If so, how have you found the process?

      • Nick Burch says:

        If you go to the form to apply for a departure exemption, it says

        If you meet the following criteria you do not need to apply for an exemption:
        * people ordinarily resident in a country other than Australia

        So, I’m assuming I’ll just hand over my UK driving license along with passport at the exit immigration check, and all will be fine…

    • Rob says:

      Disappointingly Qatar didn’t put out a picture of someone trying to eat with a face shield on. They did apparently release a PR picture a few weeks ago showing a passenger about to place a fork of food into her mouth whilst wearing a face mask, but sadly deleted it soon afterwards!

      • The Savage Squirrel says:

        Just flip it up to eat (think wearing a baseball cap but pulling it further back on your head so the peak tilts upwards). It’s not an issue.

  • Andy says:

    Waring a face mask and a face shield for 8+ hours is not my idea of fun or relation. This must get very uncomfortable and make it very difficult to relax.

    I would rather stay at home!

    • CV3V says:

      also the basic masks are only good for about 4 hours, after which they are full of moisture and become a pathway.