Emirates says no carry-on bags allowed on board, all passengers must wear mask and gloves

Apr 23, 2020

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Emirates Airline has not been exempt from the ongoing effects of the coronavirus crisis. Now, the Dubai-based airline is telling passengers what they can expect if they are flying with the carrier as part of a repatriation effort.

On Tuesday, the carrier detailed plans for social distancing and keeping minimal contact between crew and passengers. Notably in Emirates’ plans, the carrier will not allow passengers to board with cabin baggage in an effort to reduce risk of spreading the virus by touch.

(Photo courtesy of Emirates)
(Photo courtesy of Emirates)

Passengers will only be able to bring a laptop, handbag, briefcase or baby items on board the aircraft. All other carry-on bags will have to be checked in. The airline said that it will add the cabin baggage allowance to customers’ check-in baggage allowance.

Also of note, Emirates is requiring that all passengers and crew wear masks and gloves throughout their journey — from check-in until they disembark. All cabin crew, boarding agents and ground staff who come in direct contact with passengers will be outfitted in personal protective equipment, which includes a disposable down over their uniforms and a safety visor — plus a mask and gloves.

(Photo courtesy of Emirates)
(Photo courtesy of Emirates)

On board, the airline said that it’s pre-allocating seats so there are vacant seats between individual passengers or family groups in an effort to social distance. Meal services have also been adjusted, as cabin crew will distribute bento box-style meals to passengers in order to minimise contact. Magazines and other print materials have been removed from seatback pockets in order to reduce spread by touch.

Related: The hidden costs of saying goodbye to the middle seat

At Dubai International Airport (DXB), there are thermal scanners to take the temperatures of all passengers and employees who enter the airport. Physical distancing indicators have been placed throughout the airport to remind passengers to keep a safe distance, and at physical desks, there are protective barriers.

(Photo courtesy of Emirates)

After each journey, the airline said that aircraft will go through enhanced cleaning and disinfection processes in Dubai.

Related: Emirates has begun rapid pre-boarding COVID-19 testing at Dubai Airport

For the time being, the airline has suspended scheduled passenger operations. In March 2020, the United Arab Emirates banned flights, and during that period, all Emirates operations were suspended. However, as of earlier this month, the carrier resumed limited operations in the name of transporting people from the UAE to their home countries.

Earlier this week, the carrier announced that it would continue flights on a repatriation level out of the UAE until at least 1 July. However, that date could continue to be pushed back to later in the year.

In light of the coronavirus crisis, some airlines have taken to communicating new and stringent sanitary and social distancing procedures. Ahead of them, airlines have the task of convincing passengers that it’s safe to fly. It remains uncertain how long these Emirates policies will remain in place — or if they’re permanent changes to the inflight experience.

Featured photo courtesy of Emirates.

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