By: Flyhigh Manila Staff
Things will no longer be the same after this CoviD-19 crisis. A lot will change, a lot, even the manner we fly and our protocols. There will indeed be a "new normal" for flight attendants in the Philippines, a new norm which is more adaptive to any situation and crisis, and a new norm to further protect the health of everyone.
Personal Protective Equipment or PPEs will be a flight attendant's new uniform for the time being while a vaccine have not been invented yet as of this writing. Noticed how Philippine Airlines and AirAsia invested on the design of their PPEs? These are no ordinary looking ones, the airlines sought the designs of fashion designers Edwin Tan for PAL and Puey Quinones for AirAsia. These PPEs are very stylish. Though nothing has been said nor confirmed yet by the airline, we expect Cebu Pacific to also come out with their own PPEs.
Perhaps, airlines foresee that the for cabin crew members to wear PPE will be necessary until such time that a CoviD-19 vaccine has been invented and the number of infected goes down. This may be for more months to come.
Second, a "new normal" would be more stringent health checks. Flight attendants alone are made to undergo medical checks at least once a year as part of their requirement to keep flying, but we do see this changing. Medical checks may happen more than once a year, maybe twice or quarterly. The airlines may even provided their cabin crew a physical regimen to ensure their health is at check and their immunity to such viral disease are high.
Medical checks will not only be conducted inside airline offices but at airports as well. Emirates now conducts rapid CoviD-19 for all passengers in which the results are out in 10 minutes. This may also be a "new normal" procedure for the flight crew before entering the aircraft.
And oh yeah, inflight services. No-physical contact policies may be fully implemented between passengers and cabin crew. While there are some passengers who tend to like "poke" when calling flight attendants with like "ate penge ako tubig" or "kuya meron kay ginger ale", this can no longer be the case. The call-button will have to really be used. However as far as we know, passengers are really not allowed to "touch" or come into physical contact with flight attendants unless there is a medical emergency or when needed, particularly for PWDs.
One question though that bothers us now is if there will be a new normal for some flight attendant procedures and protocols. Example, medical emergency procedures on board wherein a cabin crew will need to provide CPR to a passenger in need, or the need to provide mouth to mouth resuscitation. Will any of these procedures change? Or will cabin crew members be provided with some extra protection? Or will they need to undergo some procedures after arrival should they have given CPR to a passenger in need?
These are some of our questions on what the new normal for Filipino flight attendants would be after all this.
We feel however that things may somehow return to "close to" normal once vaccines against CoviD-19 are out and commercially available but for now, this is the start of a "new normal" for flight attendants. New outfits, and maybe new procedures. Requirements for future cabin crew? While only the airlines can decide on this but lets just say that the screening process will already include questions about this crisis like "will you still want to be a flight attendant for us even if you know that a similar crisis like the CoviD-19 can cause uncertainties to the industry including your job?"